Legislation to preserve Russian Federation sanctions stalls, despite bipartisan push

Sanctions on Rusal Are Coming to an End Here's What It Means

The 362-to-53 vote registered the lower chamber's disapproval of plans to ease sanctions against companies that are controlled by Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, the Washington Post reported.

In seeking to lift the sanctions, top Trump administration officials argued that Deripaska had sufficiently divested control of the firms and that keeping the penalties in place for Deripaska-linked aluminum producing companies would benefit other aluminum companies based in China and elsewhere. Rubio, though, said that wasn't enough.

Jed Shugerman, a professor at Fordham Law, told Newsweek that, although Deripaska will lose majority control of his three companies, the Treasury's plan will benefit the oligarch, and by extension, Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Scott did not comment on the vote.

A similar measure failed in the Senate this week despite 11 Republicans voting with Democrats. "But it seems that acquiescence to the president, a fear of breaking with the president, has held back too many of my Republican colleagues from supporting this resolution".

The Treasury first imposed the sanctions on April 6, and the move against Rusal, the world's second largest producer of aluminium, swiftly created turmoil in global aluminium markets.

Treasury's decision to lift the sanctions came after a months-long lobbying effort from the companies and EN+ Group chairman Lord Barker of Battle, a member of the British House of Lords. The sanctions on the company spurred demand for Chinese metal.

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Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney welcomed the outcome of the Senate vote, saying he hoped it would pave the way for sanctions to be lifted that affect the Irish company Aughinish Alumina, a Rusal unit.

Democrat Eliot Engel, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said the bipartisan result sent a strong message to the Trump administration which he said was "trying to make an end run around Congress on an issue as important as Russian Federation sanctions".

Backers of the resolution of disapproval said it was too soon to ease sanctions, given Russia's continuing aggression in Ukraine, the finding by USA intelligence that Moscow interfered in the 2016 United States election to boost Trump, and Russia's support for the Syrian government in that country's civil war.

Mnuchin's House briefing came after seven new Democratic chairmen called him in, one of the first moves of the new Democratic House to scrutinize Trump's actions related to Russian Federation.

The US military said on Wednesday that four Americans had been killed in Syria in a bomb attack claimed by Islamic State militants.

And many House Republicans joined with Democrats in order to pass today's resolution.

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