The United States Treasury Department has confirmed that it’s open to removing sanctions on aluminium giant, UC Rusal.
This is positive news for the Jamaican bauxite plant, Windalco and hundreds of its employees who’ve been facing an uncertain future due to the sanctions. UC Rusal is the parent company of Windalco.
The statement was made by US Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin, over the weekend.
According to the International News Agency, Reuters, Mr. Mnuchin, says the objective was not to put Rusal out of business.
Reuters says Mr. Mnuchin’s comment was the latest indication that the US Government was trying to help the sanctions-hit Rusal.
In April this year, the government imposed sanctions against the Russian oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, and eight companies in which he is a principal shareholder, including Rusal.
The sanctions are in response to what the US Government calls malign activities by Russia.
Mr. Deripaska has stepped down from Rusal’s board of directors in response to the sanctions. He’s also currently moving to reduce his control over the company in an effort to appease the US government.
The sanctions have caused havoc in the global aluminium market. The Windalco plant was also affected with some banks shying away from doing business with it.
Both the government and opposition feared for the livelihoods of thousands of Jamaicans, directly and indirectly, dependent on the plant for their economic survival.
Mining Minister, Robert Montague, in April, told the House of Representatives, that Windalco’s continued operations and profitability could be significantly impacted by the sanctions.
Mr. Mnuchin speaking over the weekend at the G20 finance meetings in Argentina says UC Rusal has also approached the US on certain de-listing issues.
While he wouldn’t go into details as to the specific plans of the US Treasury Department, he says the objective is to find an acceptable solution to the issue.