RIL says not violated United States sanctions on Venezuela

RIL says not violated United States sanctions on Venezuela

Responding to a question on India's response to the U.S. efforts against the "authoritarian regime" in Venezuela, the official said that India has been co-operative with the US.

Venezuela may divert oil originally bound for the United States to Russian oil company Rosneft or other destinations due to the sanctions, Venezuelan oil minister and president of PDVSA Manuel Quevedo said this week.

In a statement last week, Reliance said its USA unit has completely stopped all business with PDVSA.

Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) on Friday denied any suggestion that it ever sidestepped USA sanctions in supplying products to Venezuela.

India has so far been maintaining that U.S. sanctions against Venezuela and the latter's national oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela, in particular, were "unilateral" and not ratified by the United Nations. On Friday, US president Donald Trump had warned of tougher sanctions.

A Reliance spokesman wrote to Reuters in an email and said: "Reliance is and will remain in compliance with the sanctions and shall work with the concerned authorities".

Reliance is among the biggest buyers of Venezuelan oil, although the company has recently said it has not increased crude purchases from Venezuela.

"Reliance not only has complied with United States sanctions laws, but also has done its best to adjust its dealings with Venezuela on a voluntary basis to reflect the ongoing changes in USA policy", the statement added. It also said that the Indian conglomerate had shipped alkylate on two vessels - Torm Mary and Torm Anabel.

The Reliance statement came a day after Reuters reported that the conglomerate was selling fuels to Venezuela from India and Europe to sidestep sanctions that bar US -based companies from dealing with state-run PDVSA, according to trading sources and Refinitiv Eikon data.

The 2012 contract allows Reliance to import 300,000 to 400,000 barrels of heavy crude from PDVSA per day.

Last week, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in a meeting with the visiting Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale, said that he hoped India will not be the "economic lifeline" to the "authoritarian" regime of Maduro by purchasing oil from the Latin American country.



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