Petroleos de Venezuela has said that it is expecting net income to fall by some 53 percent to just two billion dollars this year due to lower oil production, the state-owned Venezuelan oil company said in a statement.
Petroleos de Venezuela paid the government 1.8 trillion bolivars ($1.35 billion) in dividends in the first six months of the year. The company paid 3.4 trillion bolivars in dividends during all of 2001.
The Venezuelan government is trying to close a budget gap of 2.6 percent of gross domestic product or $2.8 billion and lower payments from the oil company will make that more difficult. The company's profit is being hurt by lower oil production after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries lowered output quotas.
The company predicted $2 billion in profit “despite the contraction in world oil demand that affected prices and production levels in the first part of the year.”
Russia's Ambassador to Belarus, Mikhail Babich, said that Moscow would treat any military intervention in the affairs of Belarus as an attack on Russia