On Sunday, January 27, 2019, the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) announced the lifting of sanctions imposed on En+ Group plc (“En+”), UC Rusal plc (“Rusal”) and JSC EuroSibEnergo (“ESE”). As previously reported here, this announcement follows the Administration’s notification submitted to Congress on December 19, 2018.
According to a press release issued by OFAC, under the terms of the entities’ removal from the Specially Designated Nationals (“SDN”) list, “En+, Rusal and ESE have reduced [Russian oligarch] Oleg Deripaska’s direct and indirect shareholding stake in these companies and severed his control. This action ensures that the majority of directors on the En+ and Rusal boards will be independent directors – including U.S. and European persons – who have no business, professional or family ties to Deripaska or any other SDN, and that independent U.S. persons vote a significant block of the shares of En+.” OFAC also indicated that the companies have agreed to “unprecedented transparency” of their operations by U.S. Department of Treasury. Meanwhile, all individual sanctions against Mr. Deripaska remain in place.
We anticipate that OFAC will issue further guidance in the coming days with regard to activity undertaken to maintain and wind-down transactions authorized under several general licenses issued between April 2018 and January 2019. OFAC has not yet indicated whether individuals and entities who operated under the general licenses previously issued still need to submit reports to OFAC summarizing such activity.
Husch Blackwell’s Export Controls and Economic Sanctions team continues to monitor all matters related to Russian sanctions as they develop and will provide updates and analysis as new information becomes available. Should you have any questions, please contact Cortney Morgan, Linda Tiller, or Grant Leach.