US sanctions on Rusal: Govt concerned, analyzing the situation- Greenidge

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In light of reports of the US sanctions on Russian company Rusal which has operations here, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge on Wednesday told media operatives that Government is concerned.

Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge

Rusal, one of the largest Aluminum Producers in the world, has operations in Guyana in the form of the Bauxite Company of Guyana Incorporated (BCGI), employing over 500 persons.

He noted that they are looking to get an in depth analysis of the situation.

“We are concerned, of course, to do that quickly so that we can avoid any adverse consequences on the social side with regards employment and so forth. But at this point in time, I don’t think that either we or the company would be in a position to say this is what will happen tomorrow as a consequence,” he said.

This publication understands that the sanctions against Rusal have caused aluminium prices to surge since the sanctions froze all of the company’s assets under the US jurisdiction.

Additionally, the trading price for benchmark aluminium on the London Metal Exchange hit its highest level in more than a month. Reuters reported that as of Monday Rusal’s shares plunged as much as 41.8 per cent as the implications of the sanctions are being realised.

A section of the Rusal’s Kurubuka bauxite plant in Guyana

As such, President of the Guyana Bauxite and General Workers Union (GBGWU) Lincoln Lewis has indicated that his Union is in the process of analysing the effects of the United States sanctions against Russian business tycoon Oleg Deripaska, who is the main owner of the EN+ conglomerate, which is the co-owner of Rusal.

Deripaska has also been charged in US special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation regarding Russia’s involvement in the 2016 US presidential election.

Meanwhile, a senior management official at BCGI said they are yet to receive information from their Moscow headquarters about the implications of the sanction on the local sector.

The manager said they are monitoring the situation since Friday, but thus far, operations are progressing normally.

The US Treasury Department in a statement on Friday announced the sanctions against seven Russian oligarchs, 12 companies they either owned or controlled and 17 senior Government officials, who Washington said were profiting from the Russian Government’s engagement in “a range of malign activities” around the world.

According to Reuters, an international news agency, Deripaska’s inclusion on the US sanctions list could potentially create complications too for companies with which he does business.

Rusal owns assets in Italy, Ireland, Sweden, Nigeria, Guyana, and Guinea. It owns a stake in Australian QAL, the world’s top alumina refinery.

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