WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democratic leader of the US Senate, Chuck Schumer, said on Saturday he would soon force a vote on a resolution to endorse the Trump government's decision to impose sanctions on three Russian companies Oligarchs Oleg Deripaska are connected to cancel, to refuse.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), speaking before a possible government deadlock on December 20, 2018 in Washington, USA, speaks to the media. REUTERS / Joshua Roberts
"I have come to the conclusion that the Ministry of Finance has done this. The proposal is flawed and can not sufficiently limit the control and influence of Oleg Deripaska on these companies, and the Senate should endorse this misguided effort Block Trump government and maintain these sanctions, "said Schumer in a press release.
The US Treasury Department announced on December 20 that it would lift the sanctions imposed on Deripaska's core businesses in April, including aluminum giant Rusal, its parent company En +, and the electricity company EuroSibEnergo, which will water down the toughest penalties ever the Crimean annexation of Moscow in 2014 were imposed.
After opposing sanctions, governments of European governments postponed the enforcement of sanctions and began discussions with the Deripaska team over the removal of Rusal and En + from the blacklist if he lost control of Rusal took over.
The businessman, who has close ties to the Kremlin, also had links with Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign manager, as documented.
An FBI agent said in an affidavit attached to a search warrant sealed in 2017 that he had reviewed the tax returns for a Manafort-controlled company and his wife for a loan of $ 10 million Deripaska designated Russian lenders indicated.
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin insisted on Thursday that the Trump government would rigorously control the Deripaska-affiliated companies despite the decision to ease the restrictions.
Mnuchin said the companies would have consequences, including the reintroduction of sanctions if they did not comply with the conditions.
Schumer said, given Deripaska's possible involvement in Manafort, and with Special Envoy Robert Mueller's investigation into Trump's ties with Russia not yet completed, "it is all the more reason that these sanctions must remain in place."
Passage of Resolution The rejection of the Treasury's decision would require the approval of both the House of Democratic Majority and the Senate, led by Trump's Republicans, who are unlikely to break with his policies.
coverage by Karen Freifeld and Timothy Gardner; Cut by Kim Coghill