Russia sanctions: Remove an oligarch, return to business

On 19 December 2018, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) submitted a notification to Congress that it plans to terminate sanctions on three major companies originally designated for their ownership and control by Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, permitting Western companies to breathe a sigh of relief.

The companies, En+ Group PLC (En+), UC Rusal PLC (Rusal), and JSC EuroSibEnergo PLC (ESE), have committed to OFAC to undertake a number of steps to address the circumstances that led to their designation, including (i) reducing Deripaska's direct and indirect shareholding stake; (ii) overhauling the composition of the En+ and Rusal boards of directors; (iii) taking other restrictive steps related to their corporate governance; and (iv) committing to full transparency with OFAC by undertaking extensive, ongoing auditing, certification, and reporting requirements. These three companies, two of which operate in the energy sector and one of which – Rusal – is one of the largest aluminum producers in the world, have extensive dealings with Western businesses and their designation had raised substantial questions and concerns for American and European enterprises in a range of industries since sanctions were imposed last April.

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