WASHINGTON, January 11. /TASS/. The US administration is still set to remove Russian companies Rusal, En+ and Eurosibenergo (ESE) from its sanctions blacklist, because they have complied with US demands and are no longer controlled by Russian businessman Oleg Deripaska, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement on Thursday.
"I was pleased to accept the invitation from Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi and several committee chairs to discuss our Russia sanctions program with the new Congress. It is my hope that today’s briefing will provide lawmakers with an overview of Treasury’s proposed actions with respect to these sanctions targets," Mnuchin said.
"En+, Rusal, and ESE were designated for sanctions solely because they were majority-owned or controlled by Deripaska. These entities are undergoing significant restructuring and governance changes that sever Deripaska’s control and significantly diminish his ownership. They have committed to provide Treasury with an unprecedented level of transparency into their dealings to ensure that Deripaska does not reassert control. As a result, these entities will no longer be designated for sanctions," the US official went on.
US to monitor compliance
"Treasury will be vigilant in ensuring that En+ and Rusal meet these commitments," Mnuchin continued. "If these companies fail to comply with the terms, they will face very real and swift consequences, including the reimposition of sanctions."
"Oleg Deripaska will remain sanctioned, his property and interests remain blocked, and any companies he controls are also sanctioned. Treasury recently designated Viktor Boyarkin, one of Deripaska’s close business associates. Under CAATSA, any person who knowingly facilitates a significant transaction for or on behalf of Deripaska faces secondary sanctions," the US Treasury Secretary said.
According to Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), the US Congress has 30 days to block the decision. In December, US senator Robert Menendes requested Mnuchin to put the decision to lift sanctions on hold as long as those companies remain controlled by the Russian businessman.
Sanctions against Deripaska
On April 6, 2018, American authorities slapped sanctions on several Russian officials, businessmen and companies. Among them was Oleg Deripaska and companies linked to him, such as Rusal, En+, EuroSibEnergo, GAZ Group, and others. The sanctions stipulate freezing assets on US soil, and banning US citizens from engaging in any business activities with those companies.
The US Treasury initially gave American investors until May 7, 2018, to sell shares and bonds of those companies, and until June 5 to wind down operations or existing contracts with those enterprises. Nonetheless, the deadline was extended several times since then.
On December 20, 2018, it became known that the US Treasury was ready to remove sanctions against En+, Rusal, and EuroSibEnergo within 30 days since Deripaska had agreed to reduce his control in En+ from roughly 70% to 44.95%.