U.S. lifts sanctions on Rusal, other firms linked to Russia's Deripaska




FILE PHOTO: Aluminium ingots are seen stored at the foundry shop of the Rusal Krasnoyarsk aluminium smelter in Krasnoyarsk
FILE PHOTO: Aluminium ingots are seen stored at the foundry shop of the Rusal Krasnoyarsk aluminium smelter in Krasnoyarsk  

By Patricia Zengerle

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump's administration on Sunday lifted sanctions on aluminum giant Rusal <0486.HK> and other Russian firms linked to oligarch Oleg Deripaska, despite a Democratic-led push in the U.S. Congress to maintain the restrictions.

Earlier this month, 11 of Trump's fellow Republicans in the U.S. Senate joined Democrats in a failed effort to keep the sanctions on Rusal, its parent, En+ Group Plc, and power firm JSC EuroSibEnergo. But that was not enough to overcome opposition from Trump and most of his fellow Republicans.

Advocates for keeping the sanctions had argued that Deripaska, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, retained too much control over the companies to lift sanctions imposed in April to punish Russia for actions including its annexation of Ukraine's Crimea, efforts to interfere in U.S. elections and support for Syria's government in its civil war.

Some lawmakers from both parties also said it was inappropriate to ease the sanctions while Special Counsel Robert Mueller investigates whether Trump's 2016 presidential campaign colluded with Moscow.

But in its statement on Sunday, the U.S. Treasury Department said the three companies had reduced Deripaska's direct and indirect shareholding stake and severed his control.

That action, it said, ensured that most directors on the En+ and Rusal boards would be independent directors, including Americans and Europeans, who had no business, professional or family ties to Deripaska or any other person designated for sanctions by the Treasury Department.

"The companies have also agreed to unprecedented transparency for Treasury into their operations by undertaking extensive, ongoing auditing, certification, and reporting requirements," the department's statement said.

Deripaska himself remains subject to U.S. sanctions.

Trump administration officials, and many Republicans who opposed the effort to keep the sanctions in place, said they worried about the impact on the global aluminum industry. They also said Deripaska's decision to lower his stakes in the companies so that he no longer controlled them showed that the sanctions had worked.

Rusal is the world's largest aluminum producer outside China. The sanctions on the company spurred demand for Chinese metal. China's aluminum exports jumped to a record high in 2018.

Trump denies collusion, and Moscow has denied seeking to influence the U.S. election on Trump's behalf, despite U.S. intelligence agencies' finding that it did so.

Deripaska had ties with Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign manager. Manafort pleaded guilty in September 2018 to attempted witness tampering and conspiring against the United States.

(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Peter Cooney)

COMMENTS

More Related News

Joe Biden says will decide soon whether to run for presidency
Joe Biden says will decide soon whether to run for presidency

Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, a Democrat, said on Saturday he had not yet decided whether to run for president in 2020 but would do so "in the near term". More than two dozen Democrats could ultimately opt to run for president, creating a crowded field hoping to challenge President Donald Trump. Biden, who served two terms as vice president after decades in the U.S. Senate, would have the advantage of name recognition should he enter the race.

Mueller says searches yielded evidence of Stone-WikiLeaks communications
Mueller says searches yielded evidence of Stone-WikiLeaks communications

U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller disclosed for the first time on Friday that his office has evidence of communications between Roger Stone, a longtime adviser to President Donald Trump, and WikiLeaks related to the release of hacked Democratic Party emails. In a court filing on Friday, Mueller's office said it had gathered that evidence in a separate probe into Russian intelligence officers who were charged by Mueller of hacking the emails during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign and staging their release. In an email criticizing media coverage of Mueller's filing on Friday, Stone said the evidence was "innocuous Twitter direct messages" that have already been disclosed to the...

Court filing: Manafort faces more than 19 years in prison
Court filing: Manafort faces more than 19 years in prison

WASHINGTON (AP) - Paul Manafort, the one-time chairman of Donald Trump's presidential campaign, could spend more than 19 years in prison on tax and bank fraud charges, prosecutors said Friday.

White House Press Secretary says she was interviewed by investigators working for Robert Mueller
White House Press Secretary says she was interviewed by investigators working for Robert Mueller

The White House press secretary is among a series of people linked to President Donald Trump who have been questioned by special counsel Robert Mueller.

IRS refund frenzy: Democrats blast Trump Treasury for 'goosing' paychecks
IRS refund frenzy: Democrats blast Trump Treasury for 'goosing' paychecks

The average refund during the first 12 days of filing season was $1,949.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Latin America

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.