US Lifts Sanctions on Rusal Despite Congressional Opposition

Major metals company met US sanctions demands

Despite considerable opposition from Congress to lifting any sanctions on any Russians for any reason, the Trump Administration has on Sunday lifted sanctions against Russian aluminium company Rusal and some other affiliated companies.

The companies were initially sanctions for being too tightly controlled by Oleg Deripaska, a Russian billionaire. The Treasury Department was very clear about its demands to reduce Deripaska’s ownership, and his control over the board of directors.

Rusal did so, and the Treasury Department argued that they were pretty much obligated to ease the sanctions, despite Congressional opposition. The move appears to have been rushed through to avoid any bills getting through the House forbidding sanctions relief on any Russian companies.

Rusal is the world’s second largest aluminium maker, behind only China’s Hongqiao Group. Rusal was rising substantially on the Hong Kong stock exchange in pre-market action following the announcement.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.