U.S. Hires Firm to Control Rusal’s Compliance with Treasury Deal

An audit firm hired by the U.S. is checking whether Russia’s Rusal is complying with the terms of a deal under which the U.S. Treasury Department agreed to lift sanctions on the company, the aluminum giant said on Thursday, according to Reuters.

The move offers the first glimpse of how Treasury is policing whether Rusal and its parent company En+ are complying to the deal. Under the agreement, Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska was obliged to cede control over the businesses.

“That most directors on the En+ and Rusal boards would be independent directors, including Americans and Europeans, who had no business, professional or family ties to Deripaska or any other person designated for sanctions by the Treasury Department. The companies have also agreed to unprecedented transparency for Treasury into their operations by undertaking extensive, ongoing auditing, certification, and reporting requirements,” the Treasury said at the time.

A source familiar with the situation said the audit included checks on the telephone and email records of a small circle of Rusal senior executives and board members to establish whether they remained in contact with Deripaska, who is himself still on a U.S. sanctions blacklist.

There was no word from Rusal or sources familiar with the situation on whether the audit had found anything that might be at odds with the deal on lifting sanctions.

“These are not checks by OFAC but an audit which was agreed as part of conditions for the lifting of sanctions,” the company said in a statement in reply to Reuters questions about the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) inspecting Rusal’s offices.

A firm hired by the U.S. authorities is conducting the audit, Rusal said, giving no further detail.