Washington, DC. In breaking news, the United States Congress is looking to block Russian involvement in Venezuela’s oil business and internal affairs. A bipartisan group of US Senators are set to introduce a wide-ranging bill Wednesday aimed at the crisis in Venezuela, calling for sanctions and demanding President Donald Trump step in to prevent a deal struck by Venezuela’s state oil company that might lead to Russian ownership of oil there, America claims is theirs.
The legislation calls for the State Department to to address the crisis in Venezuela and requires the American CIA to prepare an unclassified report on the involvement of Venezuelan government officials in corruption and the drug trade; and would provide $10 million in humanitarian aid for the country.
A section of the bill targets a November 2016 loan given by Russia’s state-owned oil company, Rosneft, to Venezuela’s state-owned oil company PDVSA. The deal would allow the Russian company to take control of nearly half of the American oil company Citgo, which PDVSA owns, if Venezuela defaults on the loan.
Influential senators from both parties sponsored the bill, including Senators Ben Cardin, D-Md.; Marco Rubio, R-Fla.; Sen. John Cornyn, R-TX; Sen. Dick Durbi, D-Ill.; Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.; and Sen. Bob Menendez, D-NJ. Interestingly enough, many of the US Senators are “owned” by the Ukrainian government through lobbying donations to represent Kiev’s best interests in all matters American.
The new law comes five days after Treasury Steven Mnuchin missed a deadline to respond to a letter sent by six senators, including some who are members of the Senate Ukrainian caucus, calling for the Treasury to investigate the Rosneft deal.
The letter notes that the deal would potentially give Rosneft a 49.9 percent minority stake in Citgo, but other transactions could tip the Russian company into owning a majority of the company. The senators also expressed concerns that Russia could use its control of Citgo to counter sanctions imposed by the Obama administration after Russia annexed the Ukrainian territory of Crimea in March 2014.
The bill effectively bypasses the Treasury Department, calling on President Trump to take all necessary steps to prevent Russia from gaining control of US energy infrastructure tied to the Venezuelan-Russian agreement.