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How U.S. Sanctions on Russian Aluminum Shook Markets

Aluminum Production At United Co. Rusal Smelter Complex
Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

U.S. sanctions have brought one of Russia’s industrial titans to its knees. Penalties on United Co. Rusal and its billionaire owner, Oleg Deripaska, have locked the aluminum producer out of the $140 billion global industry, and the impacts are being felt far and wide. Banks, soda-can makers and the world’s biggest miners are among those starting to feel the pinch.

Rusal and seven other Deripaska-linked firms were the most prominent targets blacklisted by the U.S. on April 6 in response to Russia’s "malign activity around the globe." The U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control said Deripaska was sanctioned for reasons including the threatening the lives of business rivals, bribing government officials and links to organized crime. Deripaska has called the reasons for sanctions groundless and repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.