John Bolton Says Held 'Productive' Meeting With Citgo Executives

© REUTERS / Jim YoungU.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton arrives to address reporters as the Trump administration announces economic sanctions against Venezuela and the Venezuelan state owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela (PdVSA) during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., January 28, 2019
U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton arrives to address reporters as the Trump administration announces economic sanctions against Venezuela and the Venezuelan state owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela (PdVSA) during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., January 28, 2019 - Sputnik International
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - White House National Security Adviser John Bolton in a statement said he held productive talks with executives from Citgo, US-based refiner owned by Venezuela’s PDVSA.

"Very productive meeting this afternoon with members of the CITGO executive team," Bolton said via Twitter on Wednesday. "The United States is continuing to work to make sure that the economic benefits of Venezuela’s resources are not pilfered."

On Monday, the United States blocked all assets of PDVSA in its jurisdiction and imposed a ban on deals with the company. US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters that by blocking PDVSA assets, Washington takes care of this company in the interests of the people of Venezuela and also takes measures to protect its own market.

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Maduro, in response to the move, pledged that Venezuela will prove the illegality of the US move to impose sanctions on the country's state oil company PDVSA and its subsidiary Citgo, and will ultimately emerge victorious.

"This US decision absolutely violates the norms of international law, it is an unlawful decision [made] in a bid to expropriate a Venezuelan asset, a Venezuelan company. That's what we're going to demonstrate. I am confident that we will emerge victorious [in this situation], protecting Citgo as the property of the Venezuelan people", Maduro said.  

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Last Monday, mass protests erupted across Venezuela and on 23 January, Guaido declared himself the country's interim president. The UK, Germany, France, and Spain declared on Saturday their intention to recognise Juan Guaido as the country's interim president if Caracas does not announce snap presidential elections within eight days.    

In turn, Russia, Cuba, China, Turkey and Iran have given Maduro's government full support, with Maduro himself calling Venezuela "the victim of a US conspiracy", referring to US Vice President Mike Pence promising Guaido "full American support" the day before he declared himself Venezuela's new head of state. Maduro also stressed that Venezuela had held legitimate elections and urged European countries to withdraw their demand.    

READ MORE: Maduro: Bolton Prohibited Trump From Initiating Dialogue With Me (EXCLUSIVE)

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