Top Democrats on Thursday demanded a formal review of a major Kentucky investment by a company controlled by a Russian oligarch linked to Vladimir Putin.
“Democratic lawmakers called on the Trump administration on Thursday to review an investment in Kentucky by a Russian aluminum company that they say has raised concerns about Russian influence on the economy and national security of the United States,” The New York Times reports. “The Russian aluminum company, Rusal, announced on Thursday that its board had approved a $200 million investment in a planned aluminum plant in Ashland, Ky., in partnership with Braidy Industries, a private company based there.”
Kentucky is represented by Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The investment announcement came only four months after the Trump administration lifted sanctions on Rusal and EN+, its parent company.
“The sanctions had been imposed last year because the companies were owned and controlled by the influential Russian oligarch Oleg V. Deripaska, a Kremlin ally who the Treasury Department accused of aiding Russia’s “malign activity” around the world,” The Times reminded.
Democrats sent a letter demanding a review, that was signed by Oversight Committee Chair Elijah Cummings, Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff and Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Eliot Engel.
“Given that EN+ is a company substantially owned by individuals and entities with close ties to the Russian government, we believe the proposed transaction warrants immediate review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States,” the lawmakers wrote.
NEW: Democrats ask @stevenmnuchin1 for a CFIUS review of $200M Kentucky investment by RUSAL, the Russian aluminum company that's fresh off the sanctions list, but still owned largely by the sanctioned Kremlin-allied oligarch OLEG DERIPASKA. https://t.co/0YuBchLwHk pic.twitter.com/0RjOpDOI7n
— Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) May 16, 2019