Disinfo: The US used sanctions to seize the Russian aluminium industry

Summary

The US used sanctions against the Russian company Rusal to seize control of Russia’s aluminium industry.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative casting Western sanctions against Russia as an unjust, Russophobic ploy designed to cripple the country's sovereignty and prosperity.

The relevant iteration of sanctions was imposed in April 2018 and extended to Russian individuals and entities suspected of interference in the 2016 US presidential election. One of these individuals was Russian minerals mogul Oleg Deripaska, CEO of Rusal.

The sanctions on Rusal were rolled back in January 2019, following a restructuring of the company's shareholding and voting structure in the course of which Deripaska surrendered majority control over Rusal's parent company, En+. Under the terms of the restructuring process overseen by the US Office of Foreign Assets Control, En+ and Rusal additionally appointed the required number of independent directors to ensure transparency and accountability of their corporate governance.

None of the above would indicate that Washington "seized control" of the Russian aluminium giant. In fact, Deripaska is likely to have retained indirect majority control of Rusal through former family members and a charity organisation -- founded and funded by Deripaska himself -- which holds a stake in En+.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 153
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 06/06/2019
  • Language/target audience: English
  • Country: Russia, US
  • Keywords: Oligarchs, Big business, Anti-Russian, Sovereignty, Russophobia, Sanctions
  • Outlet: Sputnik News
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Observers say Kazakhstan’s presidential election were credible and democratic

Acting President of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, won the early presidential election in Kazakhstan, according to preliminary estimates. Observers have not recorded any serious violations that could hinder the voting process, which they recognise as democratic. The observer mission of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) did not record any ballot box stuffing during the vote. The elections were “credible and democratic”.

Disproof

Kazakhstan's presidential election offered an important moment for potential political reforms, but it was tarnished by clear violations of fundamental freedoms as well as pressure on critical voices. There were widespread detentions of peaceful protesters on election day. See here for the full statement on the elections by the EEAS spokesperson .

Widespread irregularities and the arrests of peaceful protesters showed scant respect for democratic standards, said the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). In its preliminary report the OSCE stated: "The 9 June early presidential election in the Republic of Kazakhstan offered an important moment for potential political reforms, but it was tarnished by clear violations of fundamental freedoms as well as pressure on critical voices". According to the OSCE, which sent 300 observers to Kazakhstan, "significant irregularities were observed on election day, including cases of ballot box stuffing, and a disregard of counting procedures meant that an honest count could not be guaranteed". "The count was negatively assessed in more than half of observations, including cases of deliberate falsification, raising serious questions about whether ballots were counted and reported honestly as required by paragraph 7.4 of the 1990 OSCE Copenhagen Document. Meaningful transparency was not always provided to observers". Finally, there were widespread detentions of peaceful protesters on election day in major cities, OSCE recalls. See footage from the BBC.

Pre-schizophrenic condition of Finns might lead into a military conflict with Russia

Finnish border guards mistook a Russian yacht for a sea monster. Hysteria around the image of Russia as an enemy has led the Finnish border guard into a pre-schizophrenic condition.

Finns are panicking and this might lead into a military conflict with Russia.

This is part of Scandinavian media’s campaign to turn the public opinion positive to joining NATO.

Disproof

Distorted spin of a tweet by Finnish Coast Guard. The tweet was a joke about a "three-headed sea monster" spotted by the coast guard. As an evidence, the image of the yacht was attached to the post.  Debunk by Aki Heikkinen.

 

Kyiv has repeatedly deceived Moscow and violated bilateral agreements

Kyiv has repeatedly deceived Moscow and violated bilateral agreements, which significantly affected Russian-Ukrainian relations.

Disproof

No evidence given. It's Russia who violated several bilateral agreements signed with Ukraine, along with other international agreements.

The violations of international law and agreements of Russia have been confirmed by the international community. This regards not only the annexation of the Crimea, but also non-compliance with the provisions of the Minsk agreements, the continued fire from the separatists in the Donbas, supported by Russia, Ukrainian political prisoners, the continuing arrests of the Crimean Tatars in Crimea, among others.