Rusal says CEO, top directors resign over United States sanctions


Rusal, controlled by the billionaire Oleg Deripaska, was among the companies and individuals targeted by United States sanctions announced in April to punish Russian Federation for "malign activities" including the poisoning of the former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter. The US Department of the Treasury had previously published an explanation, from which it followed that the loss of control over En+ and UC Rusal could lead to the removal of sanctions from the company.

Rusal's troubles began on April 6 when the U.S. gave buyers a deadline of 30 days to exit dealings with the company, before transactions in dollars were prohibited.

The change of the company's management is aimed at removing UC Rusal from the USA sanctions list.

Rusal is the parent company of Aughinish Alumina in Co Limerick.

Underlining the depth of the difficulties facing Deripaska's firms, a Russian government source said that Rusal had asked the Russian government to buy some of its output.

The bank is under the control of the Russian central bank and has been earmarked by the Kremlin to provide finance to sanctioned Russian firms, a task most regular banks will not undertake because of the sanctions risk.

A Treasury spokesman did not reply to a request for further clarification of Tuesday's guidance.

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In a statement on Thursday, Rusal said it had been "in continuous discussions with various authorities" to try to get sanctions relief and was announcing a raft of board changes, as well as the resignation of its CEO.

On Thursday, May 24, UC Rusal announced the resignation of its general director Alexandra Buriko and Evgeny Nikitin was appointed its CEO.

The U.S. Treasury Department has given U.S. customers of the company until October 23 to wind down business with Rusal.

Most of the board members who have stepped down were nominated for their positions by EN+, the holding company through which Deripaska controls Rusal.

GAZ declined to comment.

In a separate statement, Rusal said unless sanctions are lifted or the company is granted a new license by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), global financial institutions are likely to stop dealing with the group and its metal production and sales would be hit.

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said Thursday the Russian state would provide the firm with loans at market rates if banks refuse to lend to Rusal for fear of falling foul of U.S. sanctions.