03:47 GMT31 May 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The official opening date of the Moscow office of Venezuelan state-owned oil and gas company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) can be considered the same date as it got registered in Russia's Unified State Register of Legal Entities (USRLE), which is 6 August, PDVSA Russia Director General Andrey Grishaev has stated.

    "The date of the office's opening is the day of its registration, so one might take [the date of] the registration of the company in the USRLE [6 August]", Grishaev said.

    Asked whether the office was already completely functional, Grishaev said, "The company functions ... It [the office] is registered and, essentially, is in the initial phase of works".

    In June, Venezuelan Oil Minister Manuel Quevedo stated that he might visit Russia in October. When asked whether Quevedo would also visit the new PDVSA office in Moscow, Grishaev said that he could "neither confirm nor deny" this information.

    Neither did he comment on the question whether Venezuelan Finance Minister Simon Zerpa, who presumably was in Moscow last week, had visited PDVSA's office.

    According to an entry in the Russian United State Register of Legal Entities, PVDSA Russia JSC was registered on 6 August as a company offering commerce and management consultancy. It is owned by Venezuela's PDV EURO-ASIA SA at 98 percent and its subsidiary PDVSA Cuba at 2 percent.

    On 1 March, Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez announced that President Nicolas Maduro had decided to close the PDVSA office in Lisbon and relocate it to Moscow. In June, Venezuelan Oil Minister Manuel Quevedo confirmed that the staff was already being relocated and that the location of the office and its chief had already been chosen. He also said he might visit Russia in October.

    US Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams has already called the relocation of PDVSA's European office to Moscow a "nice symbol" of Venezuelan-Russian ties growing closer.

    For several months the US has been imposing sanctions on the Venezuelan government. US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to block Venezuela's property in US jurisdiction, including the assets of the country’s central bank and the oil giant, Petroleum of Venezuela (PDVSA).

    The United States has imposed several rounds of sanctions against Venezuelan officials and entities and blocked $7 billion in assets belonging to PDVSA. Maduro has denounced the sanctions as an illegal attempt to seize Venezuela’s sovereign assets.

    Moscow, office, oil company, PDVSA, Venezuela, Russia
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