The US House of Representatives on Thursday overwhelmingly rejected the Donald Trump administration's decision of rolling back of sanctions on firms linked to Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, who is considered a close aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Deripaska, 51, is among a group of tycoons and companies with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin who were hit in retribution for the Kremlin's alleged meddling in the USA presidential election in 2016. "This vote was an irresponsible last-minute political stunt brought to the floor by Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi to try and use the Russian Federation narrative to score political points". He said the sanctions "shouldn't be a political issue". Deripaska has deep ties to Vladimir Putin and was among those sanctioned previous year in response to Russian aggression and attempts to interfere in our elections.
In a 362-53 vote, the House sounded its disapproval of the lifting of sanctions, with 130 Republicans breaking with Trump and backing the Democratic measure. "Forty-five percent of a healthy company is better than 100 percent of a company that will fail", Shugerman told Newsweek, noting that the sanctions had left the three firms crippled economically.
Direct and indirect ownership interest of the Russian businessman Oleg Deripaska in En+ that has been slapped with U.S. sanctions, will be reduced to below 50%, the company said in a statement on Friday.
Court documents last year showed that Deripaska has had financial dealings with former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who was convicted last year of tax and bank fraud.
Mnuchin's House briefing came after seven new Democratic chairmen called him in, one of the first moves of the new Democratic House to scrutinize Trump's actions related to Russian Federation.
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"The agreement (to lift the sanctions) was requested by our European allies, including Great Britain and the European Union, so the company can continue to operate in Europe", Hoeven said.
I will update this post as needed with any public explanation Grassley or Ernst provide for helping lift sanctions on Deripaska's companies.
He said it was "sad" to see House Democratic leadership embrace partisanship in the resolution "but partisan politics is the focus of the new House majority".
In pushing for the sanctions to be enforced, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of NY said, "For a very long time, the Republican Party predicated its foreign policy on taking a tougher line against Russian Federation and Putin". These companies have committed to significantly diminish Deripaska's ownership and sever his control.
"Bottom line, Putin's Russian Federation is an adversary, and should be treated as one", McCaul said before the vote. His reduced stake would protect the companies "from the controlling influence of a Kremlin insider", Treasury said, adding that the companies had been sanctioned "solely because they were majority-owned or controlled by Deripaska".
"President Clinton, President Bush, President Obama did not take seriously enough the threat from Russia", Cotton said.