Russian oil giant Rosneft announced today that it had sold all of its assets and ceased all operations in Venezuela in a bid to protect shareholders from United States sanctions against the Venezuelan oil sector. The surprise move rocked the Venezuelan news cycle this afternoon, given the company’s strong ties to Venezuela in recent years.

According to the National Post, Venezuela’s principal debt with Rosneft is worth approximately $800 million.

Rosneft also announced that it had sold all of its assets to an named company that is wholly owned by the Russian government. It is not clear at this time whether this company will operate in Venezuela instead of Rosneft.

According to the Washington Post:

The move comes as Venezuela’s oil industry, collapsing for years, has gone into complete meltdown, with production falling to less than 500,000 barrels a day, the lowest production since 1940. Amid the global economic downturn from the coronavirus pandemic, the price for some Venezuelan oil has slipped.

Government Discloses 6 New COVID-19 Cases; Total at 119

The Maduro government announced today that there were six more confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 119.

Maduro called in to a television show this evening to provide an update on the pandemic. He said:

We’re working towards the perfect coordination (…) we’re making a great effort [to] advance the correct methodology to contain this pandemic. But no one can declare victory: we have to strengthen preventative measures and the social quarantine.

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