Trump Administration Eases Sanctions on Russian Metal Giant

24 April, 2018, 05:12 | Author: Natasha Holloway
  • Германия ждет от США особого подхода

On Monday, the Treasury Department extended the sanctions' "wind down" period - a window in which US and foreign entities could complete their unfinished business with Rusal without facing any penalty - by six months, while expressing openness to lifting the sanctions entirely.

On April 6 the US Treasury issued a new list of 7 oligarchs and 12 companies to be sanctioned for meddling with the 2016 US presidential elections. Aluminium prices on the London Metal Exchange, which had been up more than 3% in morning trading, rapidly reversed course to trade down more than 6% - a 10% overall movement after a 30% surge since earlier this month when the sanctions were first announced.

Thus, the U.S. authorities make it clear that sanctions can be mitigated if Deripaska sells his assets and abandons the company.

Prices for the metal on world markets have plunged about 10 percent after Washington said it might softened its sanctions against Russian aluminum giant Rusal if oligarch Oleg Deripaska relinquishes control of the firm.

The US statement also adds pressure on Deripaska as he tries to save the company without surrendering control.

Rusal's wind-down operations can include debt payments in United States dollars through October 23, a Treasury spokesman said in response to questions.

International Monetary Fund says trade tensions hinder growth
China has announced plans to gradually remove foreign ownership caps for limits for vehicle , ship. and aircraft-makers. Regarding trade with Japan, Mnuchin said the United States administration wanted a bilateral trade agreement.

"RUSAL has felt the impact of US sanctions because of its entanglement with Oleg Deripaska, but the USA government is not targeting the hardworking people who depend on RUSAL and its subsidiaries", Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said. "Changing ownership structure would be a solution for the company". Rusal's customers scrambled to find other suppliers while stockpiles of the metal from its abandoned orders piled up.

Last week, a German lobby for metal companies warned that sanctions against Russia's top aluminum producer are likely to hit European vehicle production since RUSAL owns an aluminum refinery in Ireland, which is crucial for the auto industry on the continent. The most-actively traded palladium futures in NY dropped 5.4%.

At Russia's request, Mnuchin met with Russian Finance Minister Siluanov during International Monetary Fund meetings in Washington last week. "It looks as if there was a lot of pressure from the U.S. aluminium downstream industry".

Rusal declined to comment on the Treasury Department announcement.

The Western countries blame Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is backed by Iran and Russian Federation, for an attack that thrust Syria's seven-year-old conflict into the forefront of global concern.

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