Mr. Speaker, as this honourable house is aware, on April 6, 2018, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) added, amongst others, seven Russian oligarchs and twelve companies they own or control, to its Designated Nationals List (the OFAC Sanctions).
Mr. Oleg Deripaska, the single largest shareholder in UC RUSAL, was named amongst those on the OFAC sanctioned list.
As a result of being named, all assets of Mr. Deripaska and these entities that are within US jurisdiction have been frozen, and US persons are prohibited from dealings with them.
Additionally, non-US persons could face secondary sanctions for knowingly facilitating significant transactions for, or on behalf of the individuals or entities sanctioned.
In an effort to reduce the effects of the sanctions on over 1200 workers from WINDALCO, the livelihood of the Jamaican citizens and the local economy, an appeal was made to the U.S
The Government of Jamaica sought the grant of waivers for UC Rusal to:
1. Allow the company to purchase fuel, equipment and spares, chemicals and other supplies needed to sustain the economic operation of the Ewarton plant and the attendant activities;
2. Permit the company to conduct business transactions with banks in Jamaica including their intermediaries to facilitate the continuation of UC Rusal’s business. This will allow the banks and their corresponding banking relations to provide vital services that support the functioning of the plant. These include making payments to workers and suppliers, and engaging in new supply contracts that are required to sustain the operations of the company; and
3. Permit the company to sell to the Government of Jamaica as a last resort.