MOSCOW, March 28. /TASS/. A firm hired by the US Treasury Department is auditing Russian aluminum giant Rusal, Reuters reported referring to the company’s representative.
"These are not checks by OFAC but an audit which was agreed as part of conditions for lifting of sanctions (from Rusal and its parent company En+ - TASS)," the representative said.
According to Reuters, the audit is "the first glimpse of how Treasury is policing whether Rusal and its parent company En+ are adhering to the deal."
In January, the US lifted sanctions from these two companies related to businessmen Oleg Deripaska.
According to Reuters sources, the OFAC check started about a week ago.
"The audit included checks on the telephone and email records of a small circle of Rusal senior executives and board members to establish whether they remained in contact with Deripaska, who is himself still on a U.S. sanctions blacklist," the agency said referring to a source familiar with the situation.
Earlier, Sigal Mandelker, Under Secretary of the US Treasury, said at a hearing at a special committee of the Congress that the US Treasury intends to monitor how the Russian companies comply with the terms of the deal.
On April 6, the US authorities announced sanctions against a number of Russian officials, businessmen and companies. Among them were Oleg Deripaska and the companies he controls - Rusal, Basic Element holdings, En+ and Russian Machines, Eurosibenergo, GAZ Group, B-Finance investment company and Kuban agro holding. Being included in the sanctions list means frozen assets in the US and ban on American citizens preventing them from doing any business with these companies.
In January 2019, restrictions imposed on three companies - En+, RusAl and Eurosibenergo - were lifted. However it cost Oleg Deripaska control in these enterprises. In particular, lifting sanctions from En+ (the largest shareholder of Rusal with a share of over 48%) required forming a new board of directors, while Deripaska had to reduce his stake in the holding from 70% to 44.95%. The businessman himself and other companies affiliated with him remained under sanctions.