The U.S. Treasury is open to removing Russian aluminum producer Rusal from a U.S. sanctions list, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said, adding the objective was “not to put Rusal out of business”.
Mnuchin’s comment was the latest indication the Trump administration was trying to aid sanctions-hit Rusal, which had taken a series of steps to try to appease the U.S. government and get the restrictions lifted, according to Reuters.
The U.S. Treasury in April imposed sanctions against billionaire Oleg Deripaska and the eight companies in which he was a large shareholder, including Rusal, in response to what it called “malign activities” by Russia. But the sanctions caused havoc on the global aluminum market, prompting several countries and companies to successfully lobby Treasury for a softening of the terms on Rusal.
“The company has approached us on certain de-listing issues from the Specially Designated Nationals List,” Mnuchin said.
“I’m not going to go into the exact specifics of what those proposals are and where we stand on them, but, yes, if we can find an acceptable solution, that is our objective,” Mnuchin said.
“Our objective is not to put Rusal out of business,” he added, acknowledging that Rusal was important to the global aluminum market.
Last month Rusal shareholders elected a new board of directors, dominated by independent directors and operational managers.
Deripaska and a team of his top managers stepped down from Rusal’s board of directors in May, and are currently working on several options to reduce his control over the company. (UNIAN/Ukrainian metal)