In a clear challenge to the sanctions imposed by the U.S. government, Russian bank Evrofinance Mosnarbank is the only financial institution buying the Venezuelan cryptocurrency Petro.
It's still unclear in which Exchanges outside of Venezuela the Petro would be traded, but the steps taken by this bank open some commercial opportunities for the oil-backed cryptocurrency.
Based in Moscow, Evrofinance Mosnarbank is a little known entity in which the Venezuelan government of President Nicolas Maduro is a major stockholder, as well as two Russian state companies sanctioned by the United States, according to a report from El Nuevo Herald.
The Washington Post reported that the Venezuelan government acquired 49% of the bank in 2011, still during Hugo Chavez’s administration, and is co-owned by two financial companies controlled by the Russian state that have both been sanctioned for their participation in the Crimean conflict of 2014.
By using this bank, Venezuela is trying to avoid the sanctions imposed last year by the Trump administration, banning the trade of Petro. It must be noted that the U.S. based its prohibition of trading or buying Petro for all American citizens and companies, by considering it “an extension of the Venezuelan credit.”
By definition, the Petro grants rights to receive commodities – oil and gold – in the future. Given this situation, Maduro solved the controversy claiming that the sanctions imposed by Trump “breach the elemental principles of international laws.”
Likewise, it must be taken into account the recent announcement marking the end of the Petro presale, which raised around $3 billion USD. However, it's still unclear the cryptocurrency value, despite it was supposed to be the equivalent of a Venezuelan oil barrel.
We must remember that when Maduro announced the development of this cryptocurrency, he underscored that it would be backed by oil and revealed as partners two companies still unknown in the cryptocurrency world: Zeus Exchange and Aerotrading.
According to the investigations of multiple agencies, both companies belong to businessmen linked to the Kremlin; however, only Aerotrading, which Maduro described as “one of the most important companies in this whole ecosystem,” confirmed the partnership with the Petro’s development team. On the other hand, Zeus Exchange distanced itself from the project sanctioned by the United States.
By Antonio Menéndez
Sources: LatinCripto and CoinCrispy.