Reuters has corrected a story it published on April 18 saying Venezuela is funneling cash flow from oil sales through Russian state energy giant Rosneft to evade U.S. sanctions after Rosneft threatened to ban the international news agency from operating in Russia.
The story, datelined Mexico City, said Reuters had uncovered a scheme whereby Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA had started passing invoices from its oil sales to Rosneft.
An April 23 correction said Reuters “could not determine payments were made under the proposed arrangement.” It also removed a reference to Evrofinance Mosnarbank, a Russian commercial bank, and clarified that “experts see no violation of sanctions.”
Rosneft released a statement a few hours after the original story was published saying that it considered it necessary to turn to law enforcement agencies to stop Reuters’ activities in Russia.
Rosneft accused the news agency of “systematically creating and disseminating disinformation, legalizing rumors in the interests of customers and inventing information to damage the Russian economy, companies and the state.”
The statement came several months after Russia’s media regulator launched an investigation into the BBC, a move it described as a response to British pressure on the Kremlin-funded RT broadcaster.