Trump Admin Wants To Help Kremlin-Connected Aluminum Firm Do Business In US

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The U.S. Treasury is considering easing or removing sanctions from Russian aluminum producer Rusal.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said Friday that his department is willing to remove Rusal, the top Russian aluminum producer, from its sanctions list, according to Reuters, saying the goal 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 has taken a series of steps to try to appease the U.S. government and get the restrictions lifted.

The U.S. Treasury in April imposed sanctions against billionaire Oleg Deripaska and the eight companies in which he is a large shareholder, including Rusal, in response to what it called “malign activities” by Russia. But the sanctions caused havoc in the global aluminum market, prompting several countries and companies to successfully lobby Treasury for a softening of the terms on Rusal.

Mnuchin said Rusal had “approached us on certain de-listing issues (from the Specially Designated Nationals List)”.

“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.

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