Russia’s third-biggest bank by assets Gazprombank has elected to freeze the bank accounts belonging to Venezuelan state oil firm Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA), Reuters reports. Citing sources, the report indicated that the state-owned lender did so to lower its risks of coming under U.S. sanctions. Alongside China, Iran, Turkey and other countries, Russia is one of the strongest supporters of Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro. Last month when Venezuela’s National Assembly head, Juan Guaido, declared himself interim president the four voiced their support for Maduro. This was contrary to the position taken by the United States and other western powers.

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