Unilateral Sanctions Against Caracas Impact COVID-19 Efforts, Must Be Lifted – Moscow

MOSCOW, September 3- Unilateral sanctions that have been slapped on Venezuela must be lifted as they are impacting the South American country’ s ability to successfully combat the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday. Not only do they deprive Venezuela of much-needed funds, but they also reduce the…

MOSCOW, September 3 (Sputnik) – Unilateral sanctions that have been slapped on Venezuela must be lifted as they are impacting the South American country’s ability to successfully combat the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.

“We have repeatedly stressed that unilateral punitive measures against Caracas must be lifted. Not only do they deprive Venezuela of much-needed funds, but they also reduce the country’s ability to effectively resist the spread of the coronavirus disease,” Zakharova said at a briefing.

Several members of the international community, most notably the United States, have imposed sanctions on Venezuela over recent years. Further punitive measures were enforced following the 2019 protests that saw opposition leader Juan Guaido declare himself as interim leader. Russia, China and Turkey, among others, have supported Nicolas Maduro as Venezuela’s legitimate president.

Many of the Western sanctions have targeted Venezuela’s state-run oil and gas company Petroleos de Venezuela, and its subsidiaries, in an attempt to seize its foreign assets and prevent the firm from completing transactions.

In mid-August, Bloomberg reported that Washington was weighing up the possibility of tightening sanctions on Venezuela to cut off the possibility of the South American country conducting oil transactions through trading fuel.

The Venezuelan government has confirmed 48,883 positive tests for COVID-19 to date, including 1,127 new cases on Tuesday. The South American country’s coronavirus disease death toll currently stands at 398.

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