On The Money — Democrats eye tough choices as deadline looms
Mnuchin: US open to removing Russian aluminum producer from sanctions list
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Friday that the Trump administration is considering the possibility of removing a Russian aluminum company from a list of sanctioned entities as the company seeks to reconcile with the U.S. government.
Mnuchin told Reuters that the sanctions aimed at top Russian companies suspected to be involved in "malign activities" were not meant to destroy the aluminum company, Rusal, which the outlet reported is working on reestablishing a relationship with U.S. officials.
"The company has approached us on certain de-listing issues [from the Specially Designated Nationals List]," Mnuchin told Reuters in an interview.
"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," he added.
Rusal was sanctioned in April due to the majority share in the company being held by Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, who lost control of the company's board of directors last month after a new independent board was elected, according to Reuters.
The Treasury Department had previously stated that the path to sanctions relief for Rusal involved a change of management.
Deripaska, who is also a figure in the ongoing special counsel investigation into Russia's election interference, was sanctioned by the Treasury Department over his ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"The path for the United States to provide sanctions relief is through divestment and relinquishment of control of RUSAL by Oleg Deripaska," the agency said in April.
Mnuchin extended the initial draw-down period for business with Rusal, the world's second-largest aluminum producer, after aluminum prices dropped nearly 10 percent around the world following the initial sanctions.
"The U.S. government is not targeting the hardworking people who depend on RUSAL and its subsidiaries," Mnuchin said in April. "Given the impact on our partners and allies, we are issuing a general license extending the maintenance and wind-down period while we consider RUSAL's petition."