GETTING OFF EASY?

Trump Lifts Sanctions on Businesses Linked to Putin Ally Oleg Deripaska

The United States Treasury lifted sanctions on three businesses linked to Russian oligarch and Putin ally Oleg Deripaska on Sunday. The companies—Rusal, EN+ Group Plc and EuroSibEnergo JSC—have all “agreed to unprecedented transparency for Treasury into their operations by undertaking extensive, ongoing auditing, certification, and reporting requirements,” the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control said in a press release. The release notes that the measures against Deripaska, who was sanctioned in part for his ties to Vladimir Putin, still stand.

The move comes over the objections of congressional democrats, who have argued that the sanctions should not be lifted until the Mueller investigation has ended. Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) was one of the first to condemn the lifting of sanctions Sunday in a statement to The Daily Beast. “Ignoring House disapproval of this sordid deal, refusing to have Secretary Mnuchin testify, and seeking to preempt Senate disapproval, the Trump Administration is working seven days a week with favoritism for Russia. This represents just one more step in undermining the sanctions law, which President Trump has obstructed at every opportunity, while Russian aggression remains unabated,” Doggett said. The agreement will require Deripaska to drop his direct and indirect share of each company below 50 percent and to hire new board members for En+ and Rusal, though many Democrats have argued that he will still have significant holdings in the companies.