Treasury notified Congress on Dec. 19 of its intent to end the sanctions within 30 days, or by Jan. 19, against the three companies.
Under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), OFAC on April 6, 2018, designated En+, Rusal and ESB for being owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, a political associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The three companies were added to OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN) List, which prevents U.S. persons and entities from conducting business with listed individuals and entities.
When Treasury announced its intent to lift the sanctions, it told Congress that the three companies had successfully severed Derispaska’s controlling interests.
“This action ensures that the majority of directors on the En+ and Rusal boards will be independent directors — including U.S. and European persons — who have no business, professional or family ties to Deripaska or any other SDN, and that independent U.S. persons vote a significant bloc of the shares of En+,” Treasury said.
The department also said the companies have agreed to “unprecedented transparency for Treasury into their operations by undertaking extensive, ongoing auditing, certification and reporting requirements.” It emphasized that sanctions against Deripaska “continue in force.”
Lawmakers in both the House and Senate protested ending the sanctions, particularly against aluminum producer Rusal, and questioned the methods used by Deripaska to sever his financial controls over the three companies to comply with CAATSA. However, both chambers failed to stop the action.
While the sanctions against En+, Rusal and ESB ended at midnight on Jan. 19, it took OFAC another eight days to officially notify the trade that they were lifted.