The United States on Monday sanctioned a Russian bank over its alleged dealings with Venezuela's state-owned oil company PDVSA.
Moscow-based Evrofinance Mosnarbank, which is jointly owned by Russian and Venezuelan state-owned companies, was added to a list of sanctioned individuals and entities due to its alleged attempts to circumvent U.S. restrictions placed on PDVSA by offering the company financial, material and technological support.
"This action demonstrates that the United States will take action against foreign financial institutions that sustain the illegitimate Maduro regime and contribute to the economic collapse and humanitarian crisis plaguing the people of Venezuela," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement, referring to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
Evrofinance, founded in 1993, is one of Russia's largest commercial banks and also helped finance and rollout Venezuela's crypto-currency, the Petro, in 2018, at a time when the U.S. was imposing sanctions on the Maduro government.
The U.S. blacklisted PDVSA in January, expecting to block $7 billion in assets and cause $11 billion of lost export revenue over the next year.
Last week, National Security Adviser John Bolton put foreign banks on notice, saying any financial institutions caught engaging in "illegal transactions that benefit Nicolas Maduro and his corrupt network" will face economic penalties.
By Umar Farooq in Washington