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28 March, 2018

Russian link to Venezuelan digital coin deemed ‘Fake News’

A Times magazine article claiming that Russia helped Venezuela to develop the Petro was deemed a "blatant lie" by Russia.

Artyom Kozhin, Russian Deputy Director of the Information and Press Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry, said Venezuela and his country had never collaborated on developing the new Venezuela cryptocurrency called the Petro, in response to a story in Time Magazine making the claims.

"We homed in on a fake news story published by Time magazine and others that are popping up nowadays like mushrooms after a spring rain, claiming that they had a front-page exclusive on the alleged Russian origin of the Venezuelan cryptocurrency - the Petro," he said. Kozhin noted that, "Undoubtedly, this exclusive report on the alleged involvement of Russian authorities in the inception of the Petro is a blatant lie."

He pointed out that Time magazine ignored an official comment it received by the Russian Finance Ministry. “In no way, have the Russian financial authorities ever participated in this project...

"During the course of the meeting held on Feb. 21, 2018 in Moscow, Venezuela’s Minister of Economy and Finance Mr. [Simon] Zerpa indeed handed over a booklet on the cryptocurrency to the Russian Finance Minister exclusively for the purpose of informing Russian partners about this project.

The official affirmed, however, that “None of the parties mentioned, discussed or reviewed the topic of cryptocurrency use in Russian-Venezuelan cooperation."

The Petro, which was made available for presale on Feb. 20, is being used to counter U.S.-imposed sanctions and the economic war waged by Washington on the South American country. Maduro said the new digital coin aims to strengthen the country's "monetary sovereignty, to make financial transactions and overcome the financial blockade."

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