Daily Management Review

Accounts Of Venezuela's State Oil Company PDVSA In Russia's Gazprombank Frozen


The accounts of the Venezuelan state owned oil firm PDVSA has been frozen by the Russian bank Gazprombank and all of the transactions with the Venezuelan company has been halted by the bank so as to avoid being implicated by the US for violating American sanctions on the South American country, claimed a report published by Reuters quoting a source from Gazprombank bank.
Business relations with PDVSA have been scrapped by many foreign companies because of the US sanctions on Venezuela, the business transactions that the Russian banks has with the Venezuelan oil firm is reflective of the close ties between Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and Russia and Russia has been one of the strongest supporters of Maduro. 
"PDVSA's accounts are currently frozen. As you'll understand, operations cannot be carried out," the source reportedly told Reuters.
On Twitter, this news was claimed to be fake by PDVSA and the oil company further added: "Ill-intentioned information that purports to confuse the Venezuelan people". The company however did not make any comments to the media.
In reports published in the media earlier this month, the Venezuelan oil company has been asking its clients to make deposits with the accounts in the Russian bank for oil sale, so that the company is able to avoid the US sanctions aimed at the oil sector of Venezuela which included PDVSA.
The aim of the sanctions according to Washington, were to prevent Maduro from accessing the proceeds of the oil sale through PDVSA and other avenues following the proclamation and recognition by the US of opposition leader Juan Guaido as the new part time president of the country. Guaido has been also supported by a number of countries in Europe and Latin America.
Gazprombank is the third largest bank of Russia by in terms of assets and its shareholders include the state run Russian gas firm Gazprom.
PDSVA has had accounts in the Russian bank for years now. A deal for $1 billion in financing was signed between PDVSA and Gazprombank for Petrozamora company, as was announced by the oil company in 2013. According to the reports, accounts of Petrozamora have also been frozen by Gazprombank.
Russia has come out in support of Maduro in wake of the recent incidents and development in the country and have termed the actions of the opposition there to have been inspired by the United States with the aim of taking over the power in the country.
However, since the US sanctions, the position of the Russian companies have been a tricky one because they have been caught in the cross hairs of an intent to toe the line of the Kremlin and the concerns and fears of exposing themselves to secondary US sanctions which could be detrimental for their businesses.