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U.S. Freezes Russian Oligarch Deripaska’s Assets

The billionaire’s high stakes cat and mouse game with Washington continues.

9 October 2018

A month ago Russian aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska (pictured) had hopes of emerging from under U.S. sanctions.

 

But now the U.S. authorities have frozen Deripaska’s U.S.-based assets, although they continue to negotiate with him to give up some of his European operations to keep them free of sanctions, the New York Post writes.

 

Deripaska’s Rusal is one of the world’s biggest aluminum producers, accounting for 12 percent of U.S. primary demand for the metal. Sanctions on Rusal “threaten to disrupt supply chains for parts critical to the automotive and aerospace industries,” Bloomberg reported last month, when the United States extended the deadline for cutting ties to companies controlled by Deripaska until after the November congressional elections.

 

In May, Reuters reported that lobbying from European governments and multinationals concerned about disruptions in aluminum production was nudging U.S. authorities toward lifting the sanctions on Deripaska.

 

That they did not do so is clear now that his U.S. assets have been frozen, including mansions in Manhattan and Washington, D.C. Deripaska paid $42.5 million for a residence on New York’s Upper East Side in 2008, the Post says. Its current residents are the ex-wife and children of his business partner Roman Abramovich.

 

U.S. officials say Deripaska may be involved in murder, money laundering, racketeering, and bribery. He is also said to be close to Russian President Vladimir Putin as well as Russian mob leaders, the Post says.

 

In April, Deripaska agreed in principle to cut his stake in Rusal’s parent company En+ to less than 50 percent and to appoint a majority of independent directors in a bid to persuade the U.S. to lift sanctions, Bloomberg said.

 

 

  • The FBI tried to recruit Deripaska to supply information about alleged Russian interference in President Donald Trump’s election campaign. Deripaska then notified the Kremlin, The New York Times reported in September.

 

  • Deripaska kept the political consultant Paul Manafort on his payroll “for years,” the Post says. Manafort, later Trump’s campaign chairman, was found guilty on several charges related to his consulting work in Ukraine, and pleaded guilty to others in a second trial.

Compiled by Ky Krauthamer

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