America lifts sanctions on Oleg Deripaska’s business empire

AT FIRST GLANCE, the American government’s decision to lift sanctions on Oleg Deripaska’s business empire looks questionable. He is a Russian oligarch close to the Kremlin and a former business partner of Donald Trump’s erstwhile campaign manager, Paul Manafort. Shares in EN+, Mr Deripaska’s holding firm, soared this week after a deal with America’s Treasury department that saw Mr Deripaska reduce his ownership stake below 50% in exchange for the sanctions relief. Given Mr Trump’s alleged fondness for Russia, many in America smelled a rat.

But what unfolded may be less a tale of wrongdoing than of incompetence. Richard Nephew, a former State Department sanctions specialist, compares the debacle to the children’s rhyme about the old lady who swallowed a fly—officials tried to solve a problem but compounded it. It began with the new Trump administration’s perceived softness on Russia, which spurred a Republican-...

via Business Feeds

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