Russia’s policy on Venezuela influenced by CEO of oil giant: opinion
PR dla Zagranicy
Moscow’s policy on Venezuela is heavily influenced by Igor Sechin, the CEO of Rosneft, Russia’s national oil company, a commentator has claimed.
Juan Guaido, president of the Venezuelan National Assembly, next to wife Fabiana Rosales during a protest march in Caracas on Saturday. Photo: EPA/Miguel Gutierrez
In an opinion piece published by the Financial Times, Alexander Gabuev says that Rosneft owns two offshore gas fields in Venezuela and holds stakes in assets boasting more than 20 million tonnes of crude.
Russia is now "so deeply invested in the Maduro regime that the only realistic option is to double down," Gabuev said.
Caracas owes Rosneft USD 3 billion, according to Gabuev.
Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido last month declared himself interim president, winning the backing of the United States.
Russia, meanwhile, supported Venezuela’s socialist leader Nicolás Maduro, who has led the oil-rich nation since 2013.
Gabuev observes in his opinion piece that the Kremlin is extending help to Maduro while the United States is imposing sanctions on his regime, leading to "a new sort of proxy conflict in America’s backyard."
According to Gabuev, who is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Moscow Center think tank, Sechin’s involvement in Venezuela suggests that Russia’s national security policymaking is “increasingly driven by a combination of corporate interests and ambitions” of powerful members of Putin’s inner circle.
Sechin met Maduro in Moscow in September and flew to Caracas in November, according to Gabuev.
He describes Sechin as “arguably the most powerful man in Putin’s entourage” and the man responsible for overseeing Russia’s energy sector.
A Venezuelan lawmaker last week accused Russia of attempting to whisk away 20 tonnes of gold from his country, according to a report.
Poland’s foreign ministry last month called for “the respect of fundamental civic freedoms” in Venezuela.
Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz was on Monday quoted as saying that Poland recognised Guaidó as Venezuela’s interim president.
Source: niezalezna.pl, IAR, Financial Times