Treasury Ease Sanctions On Russian-Linked Aluminum Giant

Германия ждет от США особого подхода

Aluminum companies fell sharply after the Treasury Department extended a deadline for USA companies to stop doing business with Rusal.

The impact of this announcement was immediate and profound. RUSAL, the world's second-largest aluminum producer, in response to Russia's actions in Ukraine and Syria and interference in the 2016 presidential election.

With the company ostensibly sidelined for an indefinite period of time, global aluminum prices surged to a six-year high, while Rusal's share price plummeted by more than half.

Deripaska has denounced Treasury's charges as "ridiculous" and Russian Federation has described the USA sanctions a thinly veiled attack on its economy.

Fortunately for Moscow, it now appears that the sanctions against Rusal may never actually take effect.

Given the impact on "partners and allies", Mnuchin also said that both "US citizens and non-US citizens are now authorized to engage in specified transactions related to winding down or maintaining business" with Rusal and its subsidiaries until October 23.

The Treasury said "the path for the United States to provide sanctions relief is through divestment and relinquishment of control of RUSAL by Oleg Deripaska", the well-connected billionaire who owns a 48 percent stake in Rusal.

Shares in aluminium giant Rusal, which have been tumbling since the package was first announced, rose 13 per cent on the news. The precious metal fell nearly 5 percent, losing the impressive gains it made last week. However, the Russian oligarch is trying to save Rusal without surrendering control.

Representatives for Rusal and Deripaska did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Russian news agencies reported on Wednesday that the USA administration had informed the Russian embassy in Washington that it had no immediate plans to impose further sanctions.

Alumina prices have risen as much as 80 per cent since the sanctions were introduced.

"Mnuchin's statement about the de-listing signals that this is more than just getting an extra few months to stop business with Rusal", said Brian O'Toole, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council who previously worked in Treasury's sanctions unit.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil reversed an early loss and rose 0.4 percent to $68.64 a barrel in NY.

The United States has imposed sanctions on Russia's leading global aluminium manufacturer RUSAL two weeks ago, on the back of allegations against the aluminium manufacturer's involvement in threatening business rivals, bribing government officials and being linked with organised crime.



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