August 08, 2018

Lifting U.S. Sanctions on a Russian Aluminum Giant Is Not a Gift to the Kremlin

By ​Neil Bhatiya

While the Trump administration follows through with reimposing sanctions on Tehran after it withdrew the U.S. from the Iran nuclear agreement, the rhetoric over American sanctions on Russia is seriously overheating. Debate centers on the Treasury Department’s potential removal of the Russian aluminum firm Rusal from its blacklist of sanctioned Russian entities. This dispute risks obscuring how a desire to hit back against Russia over its election interference, rather than punish Rusal’s oligarch founder, Oleg Deripaska, invites severe unintended consequences. While the political value of keeping Rusal on the Treasury blacklist may seem high, it comes with wider economic costs that are being overlooked.

The controversy began when Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin indicated publicly that the Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, may remove Rusal from the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List, known as the SDN list. OFAC sanctioned Rusal back in April because Deripaska’s holding company, En+ Group, controlled a significant percentage of Rusal shares. In its press release announcing the initial designation, the Treasury Department linked Deripaska directly to the Kremlin, citing an array of illegal activity on behalf of the interests of the Russian Federation. Since then, the Treasury Department has repeatedly extended the deadline for companies to unwind their business with Rusal and a handful of other sanctioned Russian firms, while publicly stating that it was negotiating how to legally allow them to continue operations without Deripaska’s involvement


Read the Full Article at the World Politics Review

  • Commentary
    • December 12, 2019
    The China Challenge

    The United States and China are strategic competitors, and technology is at the center of this competition, critical to economic strength and national security. The United Sta...

    By Martijn Rasser, Elizabeth Rosenberg & Paul Scharre

  • Commentary
    • Foreign Affairs
    • December 12, 2019
    Beyond the Trade War

    In an essay for Foreign Affairs, Ely Ratner, Elizabeth Rosenberg, and Paul Scharre write that "the United States needs a fundamentally different approach to economic competiti...

    By Ely Ratner, Elizabeth Rosenberg & Paul Scharre

  • Video
    • November 19, 2019
    U.S. Sanctions Compliance Weighs on Nonfinancial Companies

    Elizabeth Rosenberg talks about the biggest shifts affecting compliance officers in the U.S. at an event in New York hosted by The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Risk &...

    By Elizabeth Rosenberg

  • Commentary
    • World Politics Review
    • November 15, 2019
    Trump’s Boasts of an Economic ‘Boom’ Are Misplaced and Misguided

    President Donald Trump this week laid out his most direct case yet for staying the course in the run-up to the 2020 U.S. presidential election. In a speech to the Economic Clu...

    By ​Neil Bhatiya

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia