The U.S. Treasury’s plan to lift sanctions on companies controlled by Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, a move made by the Trump administration after the companies had “committed to significantly diminish Deripaska’s ownership and sever his control,” doesn’t seem to be as punitive as publicized, according to a confidential document signed by both sides and reviewed by The New York Times.
Instead, Deripaska and his allies are set to maintain majority ownership of his most important company. Additionally, the sanctions relief deal will allow Deripaska to erase hundreds of millions of dollars in debt by transferring some of his shares to the JRussian bank VTB.
The Trump administration in April of 2018 imposed sanctions on Deripaska to prevent him and his companies from using the dollar and doing business with U.S. citizens. Deripaska has close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin and his business empire.
A measure to block Trump from lifting those sanctions was voted down last week by the Senate, 57-42, after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin made the case that they should be lifted because Deripaska’s ownership in the entities has fallen below 50 percent.
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