Commentary: U.S. sanctions are an aluminium-tipped precision strike – by Andy Home (Reuters U.K. – April 13, 2018)

LONDON (Reuters) – When it comes to U.S. sanctions, it seems not all Russian oligarchs are created equal. Seven were designated by the Treasury Department for sanctions along with 17 Russian government officials.

But one has been singled out for special treatment: Oleg Deripaska, owner of the world’s largest aluminium producer outside of China. Of the 12 companies subject to sanctions, eight are controlled by Deripaska.

United Company Rusal, which produces 6 percent of the world’s aluminium in any year, takes centre stage.

But the sanctions encompass the full length and breadth of his empire, from offshore entities such as the British Virgin Islands-registered B-Finance through the London-listed EN+ holding company to Russian power generator EuroSibEnergo, commercial vehicles producer GAZ Group and farming group AgroHolding Kuban.

The Treasury Department’s sanctions are aimed at allies of President Vladimir Putin in one of Washington’s most aggressive moves to punish Moscow for its alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. election and other “malign activity”.

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