The Russian state oil company Rosneft says a recent report by the news agency Reuters contains “patently false” information that President Nicolas Maduro is funneling money from Venezuelan oil sales through Rosneft to evade U.S. sanctions.
In a press release on April 19, the Russian energy giant called Reuters a “pseudo news agency” and accused its journalists of “spreading disinformation,” “legitimizing rumors,” and “inventing news opportunities” to damage Rosneft. The company says it plans to turn to Russian law enforcement agencies to stop the news agency's “illegal activities.”
According to Reuters, the Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA has started passing invoices from its oil sales to Rosneft. Under the scheme, “the Russian energy giant pays PDVSA immediately at a discount to the sale price — avoiding the usual 30-to-90 day timeframe for completing oil transactions — and collects the full amount later from the buyer [...].”
Rosneft is one of the largest investors in Venezuela’s oil and gas sector. According to Reuters, the Russian company has invested roughly $9 billion in Venezuela’s economy. Rosneft denies this information.