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Politics

House opposes Trump administration plan to lift sanctions on companies run by Putin ally

File-This Nov. 10, 2017, file photo shows Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, left, and Russian metal
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian metals magnate Oleg Deripaska attend the APEC Business Advisory Council dialogue in Danang, Vietnam, on Nov. 10, 2017.
(Mikhail Klimentyev / Associated Press)
Washington Post

In a rebuke to the Trump administration, more than 130 Republicans joined House Democrats in opposing a Treasury Department plan to lift Russian sanctions against companies controlled by a Vladimir Putin ally.

The 362-53 vote registers formal House disapproval of plans to relax sanctions against companies controlled by Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, and comes despite last-minute appeals by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. A similar measure narrowly failed in the Senate this week, despite 11 Republicans breaking ranks to vote with Democrats.

The Treasury Department said it intends to lift sanctions the U.S. imposed last year against Deripaska’s companies, including a major aluminum producer, while keeping sanctions intact against Deripaska himself.

The department said said it plans to lift the company sanctions because Deripaska agreed to reduce his ownership of the companies below 50%. His reduced stake would protect the companies “from the controlling influence of a Kremlin insider,” the department said.

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Jeanne Whalen writes for the Washington Post.


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