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Kremlin says Putin did not discuss sanctions against Rusal with Macron, Merkel

April 24, 19:02 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Kremlin says Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel did not raise the topic of reducing damages from US sanctions against Rusal in recent telephone conversations with Vladimir Putin

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MOSCOW, April 24. /TASS/. President of France Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel did not raise the topic of reducing damages from US sanctions against the Russian aluminum producer Rusal in recent telephone conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, press secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday.

"However, it is known that many business entities proactively raise this topic," Peskov said.

The government is dealing with matters related to Rusal operations, he added.

Moscow has not yet presented a response to the latest package of anti-Russian sanctions introduced by Washington, the press secretary said. "The decision will be taken by the President, on the basis of our interests in the first instance," Peskov noted. He did not give an answer to the question whether US statements regarding the potential relaxation of sanctions against Rusal could lead to a softer response of Russia.

"We do not understand the [US] position so far. Nobody said that sanctions would be lifted from the company if certain developments take place. Nobody used such wording," the press secretary said. "Since many contradictions are coming from Washington now, it is hardly possible to make any affirmative conclusions at present," Peskov noted.

On April 6, the US Treasury introduced sanctions against Oleg Deripaska, as well as Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller, VTB head Andrei Kostin, owner of Renova Viktor Vekselberg, Surgutneftegaz CEO Vladimir Bogdanov, Sibur board member Kirill Shamalov, businessmen Igor Rotenberg, and Suleiman Kerimov. According to an explanatory note attached to the new US restrictions list, American authorities ordered US investors to get rid of shares of sanctioned Russian companies by May 7, 2018.

Among the companies slapped with the latest sanctions are several enterprises belonging to Oleg Deripaska, including Agroholding Kuban, Eurosibenergo, Rusal, Russian Machines Holding and GAZ Group, B-Finance investment company, Basic Element, and En+. According to an explanatory note attached to the list, the US authorities ordered US investors to get rid of shares of sanctioned Russian companies by May 7, 2018. Also, before June 5, American investors should cancel all contracts they signed earlier with all blacklisted companies.

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