Photo: Atef Hassan / Reuters
Damascus and Caracas planned to establish the Syrian oil supplies to Venezuela to bypass international sanctions, Bloomberg has learned. In the scheme, was part of the Russian intermediary company
Damascus and Caracas had intended to export Syrian oil to Venezuela in the bypass entered the United States and European Union in 2011 the oil embargo against Syria. A mediator in the scheme was to speak Russian “the dummy”, which, as planned, would have bought oil at a large discount and put it through Russia to the refinery in Aruba (public education in the South Caribbean sea near the coast of Venezuela), from where the fuel would go to American gas station, found out by Bloomberg, after reviewing numerous e-mails, documents and conversations with knowledgeable persons.
According to the Agency, the plan was never implemented, however, it still worked. He completely fits into the international strategy of the former President of Venezuela Hugo Chavez, who turned the Republic into an ally of such rogue States as Iran and Cuba, says Bloomberg. Venezuela is in dire need of money due to the irresponsible public administration, oil production in the country fell to 30-year low, the economy is in a depression, and the population regularly goes to mass protests.
One of the key roles in this scheme the Wilmer RUPERTI, the Venezuelan trader, who has earned his fortune due to the proximity to the country’s leadership. The businessman confirmed to Bloomberg that discussed the plan. According to him, in early 2012 the proposal came to him by Syrian officials. RUPERTI has shown interest in buying a refinery in Aruba, but in the end the company was leased to the Venezuelan oil company PDVSA. In a letter dated September 2012, Syrian Ambassador in Venezuela to Hassan Abbas, a trader explained that the essence of the scheme is to bypass the boycott, which was declared on Syria by the United States and the European Union. The owner has offered to sign a five-year contract to supply 50 to 200 thousand barrels. of oil per day, as well as rental of storage tanks with a volume of 6 million barrels. The parameters of the deal have discussed Syrian and Venezuelan officials, and also employees of Citgo Petroleum — American division of PDVSA, control of refineries, pipelines and terminals in the United States.
PDVSA did not respond to Bloomberg’s request for comment. The representative of the Citgo told the news Agency that the company “is not considering and will not consider the import of Syrian oil to the Citgo refineries in Aruba”. “The company is committed to compliance with applicable law, including the established U.S. sanctions regimes, in the management of Citgo refinery on Aruba,” — said the representative of the Citgo. Ambassador Abbas was not available for comment to Bloomberg.
Of 49.9% of the shares of Citgo from November 2016 are pledged to the Swiss trader of Rosneft Rosneft Trading S. A., the shares could be providing a loan of $1.5 billion from Rosneft in favor of PDVSA, follows from the claim filed by the canadian company Crystallex, which wrote RBC. In April, members of the U.S. congressional Committee on foreign Affairs appealed to the head of the U.S. Treasury Stephen Mnuchin calling to verify the transaction Rosneft and PDVSA, citing the fact that she can “give Russia tangible control over the sixth-largest U.S. refinery and the ability to affect gasoline prices for the American people.”
In mid-may, Mnuchin at a hearing in the Senate Committee promised that his office will examine the issue concerning the fact that “Rosneft” can gain control over Citgo Holding. The head of “Rosneft” Igor Sechin said that the company was going and not going to get in control of Citgo. “We are in the framework of the purchase of oil in Venezuela has provided prepayments received amounts of oil, but to guarantee the payment asked to provide a pledge of shares Citgo <…> going to operate Citgo we didn’t and don’t want it,” Sechin said (quoted by “RIA Novosti”).