Oleg Deripaska, one of Russia’s most prominent oligarchs with close ties to President Vladimir Putin, celebrated on Sunday as the Trump administration lifted sanctions against his companies, according to The New York Times.
Democrats in Congress made an unsuccessful attempt to block the move last month, stymied by Republicans who favored sanctions relief.
The sanctions against Deripaska, six other oligarchs and their companies originated in April last year in response to Russia’s “malign activity” across the globe.
Though the sanctions against Deripaska himself went into effect, those against his company, Rusal — a global aluminum giant — were repeatedly delayed, The Times noted, as well as measures targeting “two linked firms, including EN+, the holding company that owned much of Rusal.”
The companies financed a sophisticated legal and lobbying campaign arguing that the sanctions would disrupt the aluminum market and damage companies in the United States and allied countries.
Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, was sensitive to that argument. He clarified that the goal of the sanctions was “to change the behavior” of Mr. Deripaska, and “not to put Rusal out of business,” given the company’s pivotal role as a global supplier of aluminum.