MOSCOW, April 19. /TASS/. Russian businessman Oleg Deripaska has set up a prize fund worth $600,000 to finance journalistic investigations of real reasons behind the U.S. decision to impose sanctions against him and his companies. The website of the fund is available on the Internet.
"A prize fund consisting of $300,000, $200,000 and $100,000 awards has now been made available to support investigative journalists seeking to discover the sources of these allegations and the real reasons for Oleg Deripaska’s inclusion in OFAC’s SDN list as well as for the imposition of sanctions on companies he founded," according to a statement on the website.
On the first stage, applicants should complete the online application from detailing their credentials and proposed approach to the investigation and where they expect their material to be published, the website says.
The deadline for applications is May 15, 2019. Successful applicants will be informed on an individual basis and will receive up to $25,000 to cover the costs incurred during their investigations.
"Reports detailing the outcomes and conclusions of the journalistic investigation should be submitted by November 15, 2019. Submissions will be judged by a panel of experts consisting of leading figures from the fields of journalism, academia, law and politics. The winner will be announced on December 15, 2019 and the prize-giving ceremony held shortly thereafter. Prize money of $300,000, $200,000 and $100,000 will be awarded to first, second and third place winners respectively," according to the rules on the fund’s website.
The US Treasury Department introduced sanctions against Oleg Deripaska and companies controlled by him on April 6, 2018. Sanctions covered Rusal, Basic Element, En+, Russian Machines, EuroSibEnergo, GAZ Group, B-Finance and Kuban agricultural holding.
Those who are put on the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list are not allowed to enter the U.S., their assets in the U.S are blocked, and American citizens are prohibited from doing business with them. In the case of Rusal, which exports more than 80% of its production, this practically meant termination of activities.
On January 27, Washington time (January 28 Moscow time), the US Department of Treasury announced the removal of sanctions against Rusal, En + and EuroSibEnergo. This cost Deripaska control in enterprises: in particular, his share in En+ decreased from 70% to 44.95%. In Rusal, he still owns directly only 0.01% of the shares for which he is not entitled to receive dividends.
Meanwhile, the restrictions against Oleg Deripaska himself remain in force.