Evrofinance Mosnarbank, a little-known Russian bank, has become the only bank outside Venezuela willing to accept investments in Venezuelan state-backed El Petro cryptocurrency, as reported by The Associated Press.
The main reason for this lies in the fact that the Venezuelan government owns a 49% stake in the bank since 2011. The other 51% are split between two of the largest state-run banks in Russia, namely, Gazprombank and VTB, both being sanctioned by USA and EU in 2014 over President Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Crimea.
Potential investors were able to buy petros by depositing a minimum of €1000 held by Venezuela at Evrofinance Mosnarbank. However, after making no response to The Associated Press’ inquiries on the matter, the bank removed all related references from the petro’s wallet, leaving prospective buyers with no guidance on how to actually buy the coins.
This move syncs up with the rumors of Russia’s active involvement in El Petro project.
Oil-backed El Petro cryptocurrency was launched on February 20, 2018. It remains a controversial issue for the global community. The cryptocurrency allegedly raised $3 800 000 000, but the Venezuelan authorities do not hesitate to provide some documented proof of this figure. The launch of El Petro provoked outrage from the USA. U.S. President Donald Trump sanctioned the Venezuelan digital currency in March.
Speaking publicly about Russia’s impetus for involving itself with El Petro so closely, US experts appeared to see sanctions as key.
“Like kids on the playground, Venezuela and Russia think they are fighting a common bully in U.S. sanctions, so they’re going to try and form a united front,” Claiborne W. Porter, former head of the US Justice Department’s bank integrity unit told the AP.