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Venezuela Taps Russian Bank to Work Around Crippling Sanctions

  • Government contractors urged to open accounts at Evrofinance
  • Evrofinance Mosnarbank being floated as solution for Venezuela
People wait in line for propane gas in front of a mural of the late Hugo Chavez in the Petare neighborhood of Caracas on Sept. 13, 2018. 

People wait in line for propane gas in front of a mural of the late Hugo Chavez in the Petare neighborhood of Caracas on Sept. 13, 2018. 

Photographer: Adriana Loureiro Fernandez/Bloomberg

An obscure Moscow-based state-run bank has emerged as a key player in Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s efforts to work around U.S. sanctions that are cutting his country off from the global economy.

Evrofinance Mosnarbank, which is jointly owned by Russia and Venezuela but not subject to sanctions itself, has been tapped by the Maduro government as an alternative to handle payments to its suppliers. What’s more, officials in Caracas are urging local banks and companies to channel international transactions through Evrofinance, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter.