Democratic Committee Leaders Respond to the Trump Administration’s Lifting of Sanctions on Russian Businesses Tied to Oleg Deripaska
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA), House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot L. Engel (D-NY), House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA), and House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) released the following statement after the Treasury Department lifted sanctions against companies tied to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska on January 27:
“We are deeply troubled by the decision of the Department of the Treasury to move forward with lifting sanctions against En+, Rusal, and EuroSibEnergo (ESE) – businesses tied to sanctioned Russian oligarch and close Putin ally Oleg Deripaska – before Congress had the opportunity to review the terms of this deal thoroughly, and despite a reasonable request for a brief delay. Mr. Deripaska has a history of involvement with Moscow for malign purposes, and we have serious questions about whether the agreement reached between Treasury and Mr. Deripaska sufficiently divests him of resources for this ability.
“As we informed Secretary Mnuchin in a January 8 letter, Treasury’s notification of the lifting of sanctions was delivered to Congress just before an extended recess and a government shutdown. These factors prevented us from completing our review under the 30-day period provided under CAATSA. Secretary Mnuchin had an opportunity to right that misstep by providing an extension for congressional review but chose nevertheless to move forward with delisting, despite clear concerns with the deal in the House and the Senate; numerous outstanding information requests from Members; and an overwhelming bipartisan vote against delisting these companies in the House on January 17.
“We are considering additional legislative actions to ensure that Treasury and these companies comply with the agreement in letter and in spirit, and to prevent something like this from happening again in the future. More importantly, we will continue our oversight of Treasury’s decision by examining the terms of this deal and its implementation to safeguard against harmful actors like Mr. Deripaska benefitting from the Treasury’s delisting decisions. We do not believe termination of the sanctions has relieved Treasury of its obligation to explain fully this deal to Members.”