Speed Reads


Trump administration lifts sanctions on Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska's businesses

On Sunday, the Treasury Department lifted sanctions on three companies tied to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, including the world's No. 2 aluminum company, Rusal. Deripaska is a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin and a former associated of Paul Manafort, President Trump's jailed former campaign chairman. Deripaska himself will remain under sanctions, the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control said, and his companies have "agreed to unprecedented transparency for Treasury into their operations." Along with Rusal, the sanctions were lifted on En+ Group and EuroSibEnergo.

The House voted overwhelmingly to block the Treasury from lifting the sanctions on Deripaska's companies, with 136 Republicans joining the Democrats, but the bill failed to get 60 votes in the Senate, even though 11 Republicans voted in favor. "This represents just one more step in undermining the sanctions law, which President Trump has obstructed at every opportunity, while Russian aggression remains unabated," said Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas). Last week, The New York Times reported that the Treasury agreement actually helps Deripaska financially.

As part of the negotiated settlement, Deripaska agreed to cede control of all the companies, and on Sunday, En+ — the parent company of Rusal and EuroSibEnergo — announced seven new independent board directors, including Christopher Burnham, chairman of Cambridge Global Capital LLC and a member of Trump’s presidential transition team at the State Department. Rusal also said its chairman, Jean-Pierre Thomas, has resigned.