February 05, 2019

Here’s How Trump Can Make Better Use of Corporate Sanctions

By Peter Harrell

The Trump administration’s decision, which went into force on Jan. 27, to lift sanctions on several companies owned by the influential Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, has proven controversial. Congress nearly blocked the action—more than 80 percent of members of the U.S. House of Representatives and 57 Senators supported a resolution to overturn the plan. Only the Senate’s 60-vote filibuster threshold kept the resolution from landing on President Donald Trump’s desk.

The controversy centered on the terms of the deal. Deripaska, a longtime associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin, will remain sanctioned personally. But Deripaska’s major holdings, including Rusal, one of the world’s largest aluminum companies, were removed from U.S. sanctions lists after the oligarch agreed to cut his ownership stake in them to 45 percent and the companies agreed to new, independent oversight to ensure that Deripaska cannot fully control them. Controversy only increased after the press got hold of the deal’s , which showed that Deripaska’s close associates and foundation kept approximately another 12 percent of the company and that Deripaska himself got hundreds of millions of dollars in debt relief for the shares he divested.

U.S. officials in the executive branch and Congress should draw at least three major lessons from the fight over lifting sanctions on Deripaska’s companies.

Read the full article in Foreign Policy.

  • Commentary
    • The Diplomat
    • September 22, 2021
    South Korea Commits to Combatting Increased Ransomware Attacks

    South Korea and like-minded countries should continue to invest in joint cyber operations and criminal investigations to expand their jurisdictional reach and enforcement capa...

    By Jason Bartlett

  • Commentary
    • Just Security
    • September 17, 2021
    Reassessing Counter Terrorism Financing in a Taliban-Controlled Afghanistan

    The Taliban’s rapid takeover of Afghanistan set back decades-long efforts to integrate Afghanistan into the international community....

    By Alex Zerden

  • Commentary
    • Lawfare
    • September 15, 2021
    China Is Making Smart Money

    As a U.S. national security matter, China’s progress in the digital renminbi is more about China’s ambition to harness data than it is about advancing its currency....

    By Yaya J. Fanusie & Emily Jin

  • Commentary
    • The Diplomat
    • September 10, 2021
    Banished Soviet-Koreans Helped Build North Korea

    While Pyongyang touts its reclusive nature as an act of national pride free from foreign influence, the reality is that a collection of outsiders – Soviet-Koreans, in particul...

    By Jason Bartlett

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia