House Democrats demand briefing on Russia sanctions decision

January 08, 2019 - 2:36 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — The leaders of seven House committees are calling on Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to explain why the United States is easing sanctions on companies linked to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. It's one of the first moves of the new Democratic House to scrutinize President Donald Trump's actions related to Russia.

The Democrats wrote to Mnuchin asking about a December announcement that the U.S. would lift sanctions on the aluminum manufacturing giant Rusal and two other companies connected to Deripaska. Mnuchin said that Deripaska would remain blacklisted as part of sanctions targeting tycoons close to the Kremlin, but that the companies would diminish Deripaska's ownership and sever his control.

In their letter, the Democrats say the deal appears to allow Deripaska to keep "significant ownership" of one of the companies.