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Russia’s aluminum deliveries to Japan halted over US sanctions

Russia accounted for about 15% of Japan’s aluminum imports, according to Rusal Japan

TOKYO, April 19. /TASS/. Russia’s aluminum deliveries to Japan have been halted over US sanctions, Rusal Japan Director Kunihiko Higashi told TASS on Thursday.

"Further aluminum deliveries have been cancelled," he said. "Our buyers have said they cannot make payments to Rusal, which is related to the recent US sanctions. Such notices were coming to us one after another," he said.

The Japan Association for Trade with Russia and Newly Independent States (ROTOBO) earlier told TASS that payments for purchasing aluminum delivered to Japan were made in US dollars. "Their purchase in US banks requires indicating the transaction’s purpose," the association’s representative said. "The mention of Rusal possibly creates problems," he added.

According to Rusal Japan, Russia accounted for about 15% of Japan’s aluminum imports or around 230,000 tonnes. The entire amount of aluminum was delivered by Russia’s Rusal.

Reuters news agency reported on April 17 citing sources familiar with the matter that major Japanese commodity traders asked Rusal to stop delivering aluminum and other products after the Russian company had been slapped with US sanctions. Another source confirmed to Reuters that the request addressed to Rusal to halt the deliveries was linked with sanctions risks.

According to the Japan Aluminum Association, Japan purchases about 300,000 tonnes of aluminum in Russia, which makes up about 16% of total aluminum imports.

US sanctions

On April 6, the US authorities imposed sanctions against a number of Russian officials, businessmen and companies. The list includes Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller, VTB CEO Andrei Kostin, Renova owner Viktor Vekselberg, General Director of Surgutneftegaz Vladimir Bogdanov, Sibur board member Kirill Shamalov, businessmen Igor Rotenberg, Oleg Deripaska and Suleiman Kerimov.

Sanctions were also slapped on Russia’s Agro-Holding Kuban, EuroSibEnergo, Rusal, Russian Machines, GAZ Group, B-Finance, Basic Element, En+, Renova, Ladoga Management, Russian Financial Corporation, NPV Engineering and Gazprom Bureniye.

US citizens and their partners have to halt all commercial relations with individuals and companies on the US sanctions list.