WASHINGTON        -           The Trump administration imposed sanctions Tuesday on the trading unit of Russian state-controlled oil company Rosneft for helping Venezuela skirt an embargo on oil from the South American country. The sanctions against Rosneft Trading S.A. and its president, Didier Casamiro, are part of a diplomatic and economic campaign by the Trump administration to try to force Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro from power in the oil-rich South American nation.

Venezuela managed to ship hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil last year with the help of Rosneft Trading despite sanctions on its petroleum sector imposed by the Trump administration last year.

“Today we sanctioned Russian-owned oil firm Rosneft Trading S.A., cutting off Maduro’s main lifeline to evade our sanctions on the Venezuelan oil sector,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said as he announced the move on Twitter. “Those who prop up the corrupt regime and enable its repression of the Venezuelan people will be held accountable.”

Rosneft Trading is incorporated in Switzerland and Russian-owned, according to the State Department. The parent company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The action against Rosneft Trading and Casamiro means that any assets they have in the U.S. or in the control of U.S. financial institutions will be frozen. In addition, anyone who does business with them could face American sanctions, which senior administration officials told reporters should largely freeze the company out of the global financial system.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity to provide details ahead of the announcement, said the move was not expected to have a significant effect on global oil prices.

Officials also said that President Donald Trump approved the move. They said he has spoken with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the past about U.S. objections to his country’s support for Maduro.

The U.S. and about 60 other countries say Maduro’s reelection in 2018 was not legitimate and have recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim president.

Maduro has held on to power despite runaway hyperinflation, a massive exodus and shortages of food and medicine and the international pressure that has left his socialist administration isolated.