FILE- In this Oct. 16, 2018, file photo Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin leads a meeting of the Financial Stability Oversight Council at the Treasury Department in Washington. The heads of seven House committees are calling on Mnuchin to explain why the United States is easing sanctions on companies linked to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

Treasury chief to brief House on Russia sanctions decision

January 09, 2019 - 10:56 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (mih-NOO'-shin) will brief House members on his department's decision to ease sanctions on companies linked to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska.

The classified briefing Thursday for all members of the House was confirmed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office. Seven Democratic chairmen of House committees have demanded answers about the Treasury Department's December announcement about the sanctions and asked Mnuchin for a briefing.

The agreement would lift penalties against the aluminum manufacturing giant Rusal and two other companies connected to Deripaska. Mnuchin says Deripaska would remain blacklisted as part of sanctions targeting Russian business executives, but that the companies had committed to "significantly diminish Deripaska's ownership and sever his control."

Democrats say the deal appears to allow Deripaska to keep "significant ownership" of one of the companies.

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