Three Russian companies have cut ties to a sanctioned oligarch and will no longer be under U.S. sanctions themselves, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday.
Mnuchin appeared before the House of Representatives, where a number of Democrats want the Trump administration to postpone lifting sanctions against the three firms.
In a statement issued before the meeting, Mnuchin said Oleg Deripaska would remain under U.S. sanctions, but the three companies he controlled — aluminum giant Rusal, its parent firm En+ and energy company EuroSIbEnergo — would not.
"They have committed to provide Treasury with an unprecedented level of transparency into their dealings to ensure that Deripaska does not reassert control," the statement read.
Mnuchin assured lawmakers that the Trump administration would keep a close watch on the firms, promising that if they failed to comply with the terms to end the sanctions, they would face "very real and swift consequences, including the reimposition of sanctions."
Treasury placed sanctions on Deripaska in April 2018 for what it called Russian "malign activity," including election meddling and crimes by Deripaska himself, which consisted of allegations of bribery, extortion, murder and links to organized crime.
Deripaska has denied all the charges.
"One of the goals of sanctions is to change behavior, and the proposed delisting of companies that Deripaska will no longer control shows that sanctions can result in positive change," Mnuchin said.