WASHINGTON (Reuters) – US Senate Democrat leader Chuck Schumer said on Saturday he would soon force a vote on a resolution to disapprove the Trump administration's decision to ease sanctions on three Russian companies 39, oligarch Oleg Deripaska.
Senatorial minority leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speaks to the media about a possible partial government closed in Washington, USA, on December 20, 2018. REUTERS / Joshua Roberts
"I have concluded that the Treasury Department The proposal is flawed and fails to sufficiently restrict the control and influence of Oleg Deripaska by these companies and the Senate should move to block this misleading effort by the Trump Administration and keep these sanctions in place, "said Schumer in a press release.
The US Treasury announced on December 20 that it would lift the sanctions imposed in April on Deripaska's core business, including the aluminum giant Rusal, its parent En + and the electric company EuroSibEnergo, watering down the more severe penalties imposed after the annexation of the Crimea of Moscow in 2014.
After exerting pressure from European governments following the imposition of sanctions, Washington postponed the sanctions and began talks with the Deripaska team on the removal of Rusal and En + from the blacklist if he surrendered control of Rusal.
The business man, who has close ties to the Kremlin, also had ties to Paul Manafort, former director of the Trump campaign, the documents showed.
An agent from the FBI said in a sworn statement attached to a research mandate of 2017 not cleared at the beginning of this year that he had revised the tax returns for a company controlled by Manafort and his wife showing a $ 10 million loan from a Russian lender identified as Deripaska.
Thursday US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin insisted that the Trump administration would maintain strict control over Deripaska-related companies, despite the decision to ease restrictions.
Mnuchin said that companies would have to face consequences including the reimposition of sanctions in case they did not meet the deadlines.
Schumer said the potential involvement of Deripaska with Manafort, and since the investigation of special adviser Robert Mueller on Trump's ties with Russia has not yet concluded, "It is even more reason that these sanctions should stay in place. "
Passing the resolution of disapproval of the Treasury decision would require the approval of both the Democratic majority chamber and the Senate, led by Republican Trump colleagues who will hardly manage to break with its policy.
Report by Karen Freifeld and Timothy Gardner; Editing by Kim Coghill