On 23 April 2019 Reuters introduced amendments into its article that was published a few days earlier. It initially stated that Venezuela bypasses US sanctions on oil exports thanks cooperation with the Russian oil company Rosneft. The amendments followed a very critical Rosneft reaction to Reuters’ article. Nobody was surprised by this Rosneft-related defamatory publication because Reuters is regularly exposed on reporting fakes. In the last years even the most authoritative western media and political forces lost their respectability and reputation.
When it comes to Russian gas giant Gazprom, it has built on Soviet successes in the gas sector. The company is a well-known devil for the West. Rosneft is a different story because a series of big Russian successes in the oil sector is a recent phenomenon. A few years ago Moscow began taking control over the world oil market from the west. It hijacked OPEC from Washington by reaching an agreement with Saudi Arabia behind the US’s back. Therefore Rosneft is manifestation of a new Russia, which is cunning, sneaky and developing tricky schemes with the so called ‘pariah’ states (Iran, Venezuela, Syria) to the detriment of Western economic and political interests.
Western hatred towards Rosneft translates into creation of an infernal image of Rosneft and blaming the company for any sins or crimes, and Reuters’ publication perfectly fits into this trend.
This message is consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about Western anti-Russian activities, in this case activities by Western media directed against Russian oil giant Rosneft.
The mentioned Reuters publication was indeed corrected and an editorial note said Reuters "could not determine payments were made under the proposed arrangement.” It also removed a reference to Evrofinance Mosnarbank and clarified that “experts see no violation of sanctions.”
In a press release on 19 April 2019, Rosneft said "Reuters stopped its activities as information agency and media outlets" and accused Reuters in "systematic spread of disinformation" to damage Russia economy and state. It also said Rosneft plans to turn to law enforcement agencies "to prevent the pseudo-agency's illegal activities in Russia."
While acknowledging initial Reuters erroneous reporting, the allegations about regular fakes by Reuters are ungrounded exaggeration and claims about Western anti-Rosneft campaign amount to conspiracy. Authoritative western media do not run coordinated campaigns against specific Russian companies and are not dictated by western political powers. A high degree of media freedom in Western countries is reflected in the top ranks that Western countries occupy in respective world rankings including World Press Freedom Index by Reporters without Borders.