En+ Group took the offensive against media reports suggesting that the United States government is considering sanctions on Russian aluminium and other materials this week, asserting that it has been fully compliant with US import regulations.
UC Rusal’s parent company spoke through Chairman Christopher Burnham, who characterized the reports of Russian aluminium restrictions as “irresponsible market speculation.”
“The article is simply wrong,” said Burnham in a statement to the press. “We are committed to fulfilling our contracts in the USA and worldwide.”
Previously Rusal found itself under sanction for several months in 2018 and 2019 due to its ties to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. The founder of Rusal, who has been closely tied to Russian president Vladimir Putin, ultimately agreed to a reduced role in the firm in exchange for the lifting of sanctions.
Burnham noted that the sanctions levied against Rusal had a significant ripple effect upon the market.
“When the U.S. sanctioned Rusal aluminium in that year, the LME price [the London Metal Exchange] jumped 29% and there was a scramble to find alternative material by U.S. manufacturers.”
Burnham went on to say that reports of imminent sanctions on the Russian aluminium giant are not only false, but dangerous.
“Irresponsible market speculation of this sort only benefits our competitors who have publicly advocated for restricting our market access, but hurts the American consumer and the U.S. economy.”
Separately, Pittsburgh aluminium pioneer Alcoa Corporation said on Thursday that it is advocating for exactly such restrictions at the White House in response to the Russian government’s February invasion of Ukraine.
“Alcoa believes that the U.S. government and other countries should sanction Russian aluminum,” said Alcoa spokesperson Jim Beck in an emailed statement to the press.
Alcoa ceased buying and selling to Russian businesses in March.