Venezuela suspends oil exports to India - Azeri energy ministry
(Adds quotes, background)
By Nailia Bagirova
BAKU, March 19 (Reuters) - Venezuela has suspended its oil
exports to India and views Russia and China as its main export
destinations, the Azeri energy ministry said on Tuesday, citing
Venezuela's oil minister.
The Azeri ministry issued the statement on Tuesday following
talks in Baku between Azerbaijan's energy minister and
Venezuelan oil minister and president of state-run oil company
PDVSA, Manuel Quevedo.
"At the meeting... Quevedo said in order to prevent a sharp
reduction, various measures are being implemented and
diversification of the export market is underway," the statement
"Russia and China are seen as the main destinations because
of the suspension of oil exports to India," the statement said.
The Indian market has been crucial for Venezuela's economy
because it has historically been the second-largest cash-paying
customer for the OPEC country's crude, behind the United States.
Earlier this year, the United States imposed heavy sanctions
on Venezuela's oil industry and has pressed India to stop buying
OPEC and other oil ministers met in Baku in talks over the
weekend that ended on Monday.
(Reporting by Nailia Bagirova
Writing by Polina Nikolskaya and Tom Balmforth
Editing by Katya Golubkova and Louise Heavens)
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