USA lifts sanctions on Rusal, other firms linked to Russia's Deripaska

Trump Lifts Rusal Sanctions as Putin Ally Deripaska Cuts StakeMore

However, LME aluminum prices declined by as much as 1.4 percent after the open, Reuters reports, noting, "The sanctions had sent London aluminum to a seven-year high when they were announced in April last year amid fears of a supply squeeze".

But the Treasury Department is removing restrictions on Rusal, En+ Group and EuroSibEnergo. En+ owns hydroelectric power plants in Russian Federation and 48 per cent of Rusal.

Democrats in Congress had led a failed bid to keep the restrictions in place, with some lawmakers arguing it was inappropriate to lift the sanctions while a probe into Russian election interference was ongoing.

"This action ensures that the majority of directors on the En+ and Rusal boards will be independent directors ... who have no business, professional or family ties to Deripaska", Treasury said.

The companies have agreed to unprecedented transparency of its activities.

"This represents just one more step in undermining the sanctions law, which President Trump has obstructed at every opportunity, while Russian aggression remains unabated", said Rep. Lloyd Doggett, a Texas Democrat. China's aluminum exports jumped to a record high in 2018. Rusal is the world's largest aluminum producer after China's Hongqiao.

Previously, the United States authorities introduced sanctions against several Russian businessmen and companies controlled by them, including Deripaska and his companies.

EN+ also announced a securities swap with London's Glencore Plc.

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Advocates for keeping the sanctions had argued that Deripaska, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, retained too much control over the companies to lift sanctions imposed in April to punish Russia for actions including its annexation of Ukraine's Crimea, efforts to interfere in usa elections and support for Syria's government in its civil war. "All sanctions on Deripaska continue in force", the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (Ofac) said.

A worker controls forming of aluminium ingots on a conveyor belt at the foundry shop of the Rusal Krasnoyarsk aluminium smelter in Krasnoyarsk, Russia October 3, 2018.

Rusal supplied only around 10 percent of the USA aluminum market in 2017.

Shares in vehicle maker GAZ, controlled by Deripaska, were up 4.6 percent at 481 roubles, outperforming the broader market.

If, as some expect, tariffs are lifted or Canada is exempted or gets quotas, premiums could fall much further.

At En+, new independent directors include Christopher Burnham, the chairman of Cambridge Global Capital, who was a member of US President Donald Trump's transition team at the State Department.

For European consumers, premiums at $69 a tonne, down almost 60 percent since early May, are expected to slide due to high stocks of aluminum held by traders in the region.

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