WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is prepared to impose “very significant” additional sanctions against financial institutions over the situation in Venezuela in the coming days, U.S. special envoy Elliott Abrams said on Tuesday.
Abrams did not elaborate on the fresh measures. On Monday, the U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions on Russian bank Evrofinance Mosnarbank for helping Venezuelan state oil firm PDVSA evade U.S. financial restrictions.
Washington has taken the lead in recognizing opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s rightful president after the 35-year-old Congress chief declared President Nicolas Maduro’s 2018 re-election a fraud and announced an interim presidency in January. Most countries in Europe and Latin America have followed suit.
Abrams also told reporters at the State Department that Washington is in talks with other countries about security arrangements for the U.S. Embassy in Venezuela after deciding to withdraw its remaining diplomats.
He said the United States does not believe the Maduro government can protect the embassy.
Reporting 2018 Lesley Wroughton and David Alexander; Writing 2018 Doina Chiacu; Editing 2018 Bill Trott