Russian oligarch, allies retain key ownership in company after sanctions lifted: report

Source: The Hill | January 21, 2019 | Jordain Carney

A Russian oligarch with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin along with his allies will maintain a majority ownership in an energy company under a Treasury Department plan to lift sanctions against the business, according to The New York Times.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, in a letter to Congress last month, said that the agreement to lift the sanctions will reduce Oleg Deripaska’s “direct and indirect shareholding stake in those entities”— Rusal, EN+ and EuroSibEnergo—”to below 50 percent.”

But, according to documents obtained by the Times, Deripaska and his allies would own approximately 57 percent of EN+ under the Treasury Department plan.

Under the Treasury Department agreement, Deripaska will also be freed from debt he owes to VTB, a Russian government-owned bank, in exchange for transferring shares worth roughly $800 million to the financial institution.

The Treasury Department, in a statement to The New York Times, stressed that Deripaska’s control over the three companies is “severed by this delisting” and that the deal prevents him from using the companies “to carry out illicit activities on behalf of the Kremlin.”

The administration is expected to lift sanctions against EN+, as well as Rusal and EuroSibEnergo, after Congress failed to block the administration from moving forward with its plan.

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