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U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton has warned countries and companies against buying crude oil from Venezuela, after the Latin American country’s Oil Minister Manuel Quevedo said during a surprise visit to India that Venezuela wants to sell more oil to the fast-growing Indian market.
In a tweet with a Bloomberg article on Venezuelan-Indian oil relations attached, Bolton wrote: “Nations and firms that support Maduro’s theft of Venezuelan resources will not be forgotten. The United States will continue to use all of its powers to preserve the Venezuelan people’s azsets and we encourage all nations to work together to do the same.”
“We have a good relationship with India and we want to continue this relationship. The relationships with India will continue, the trade will continue and we will simply expand all the trade and relationship,” Indian outlet Business Today quoted the Venezuelan minister as saying on the sidelines of the Petrotech conference in India this week.
At the start of the Venezuelan political crisis last month, Indian media reported that the Asian country continues to be one of the main buyers of Venezuelan crude oil. Indian refiners keep buying more than 400,000 bpd of oil from the troubled Latin American country, which is sitting on the world’s largest crude oil resources.
In separate Venezuela-and-sanctions-related news, Bulgarian security officials said on Wednesday that they had blocked several bank accounts in a local bank that have received millions of euros from Venezuela’s state oil firm PDVSA, on which the U.S. slapped sweeping sanctions at the end of January.
Bulgaria’s security services and prosecutor’s office were tipped off by the U.S. about those money transfers and have blocked transfers out of the bank accounts.
“We have established that there were money transfers from Venezuela, namely from the state oil company of Venezuela to these accounts,” Reuters quoted Bulgaria’s chief prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov as telling reporters.
The security officials will be looking into those accounts before deciding whether to press charges on money laundering, the prosecutor noted.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.