Lifting U.S. Sanctions on a Russian Aluminum Giant Is Not a Gift to the Kremlin

Oleg Deripaska, the founder of Rusal, attends a meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian business leaders, Moscow, Dec. 19, 2016 (Photo by Alexei Druzhinin for Sputnik via AP Images).
Oleg Deripaska, the founder of Rusal, attends a meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian business leaders, Moscow, Dec. 19, 2016 (Photo by Alexei Druzhinin for Sputnik via AP Images).

While the Trump administration follows through with reimposing sanctions on Tehran after it withdrew the U.S. from the Iran nuclear agreement, the rhetoric over American sanctions on Russia is seriously overheating. Debate centers on the Treasury Department’s potential removal of the Russian aluminum firm Rusal from its blacklist of sanctioned Russian entities. This dispute risks obscuring how a desire to hit back against Russia over its election interference, rather than punish Rusal’s oligarch founder, Oleg Deripaska, invites severe unintended consequences. While the political value of keeping Rusal on the Treasury blacklist may seem high, it comes with wider economic costs […]

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