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Oleg Deripaska is a buddy of Vladimir Putin, a de facto arm of the Russian government, and allegedly mixed up with organized crime, according to the Trump administration. But late Sunday the Treasury Department lifted sanctions on three companies linked to him. So is the Trump administration cutting a Putin crony tied up in the Russia investigation some suspicious slack or are Democrats a little out over the skis on this one?
Cop-out or precedent? The answer is that is it all depends. The sanctions applied to Deripaska target the companies he has an interest in. So what separates an interest you can sanction a company for from one you can’t? According to OFAC, the 50-percent rule applies, meaning a company is fair game for sanctions if a sanctioned individual has a 50 percent or greater interest in it. Under the deal negotiated by Treasury, Deripaska will sell off some of his interest in En+ to take him down from a 70-percent to a roughly 45-percent interest.