[Ed. – A valid concern being expressed by the senators. As long as the Russian government literally runs Russia’s petroleum companies, it’s never a good idea to let them get too much leverage in U.S.-affecting corporations. But now is an especially bad time. The mess in Venezuela never stops.]
Senators are alarmed about the national security implications of Russia acquiring a significant ownership share in an oil company whose terminals span 20 states across the nation.
In a letter to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who is chairman of the inter-agency Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, Sens. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) say he needs to be prepared to protect U.S. energy infrastructure should Rosneft carry through with seizing control of CITGO Petroleum Corporation’s Venezuelan parent company, state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela S.A.
Oil giant Rosneft is owned by the Russian government and its chairman, Igor Sechin, is a former deputy prime minister under President Vladimir Putin and a close ally. Both the company and Sechin are currently covered under U.S. sanctions.