From the Singapore Times:
The Kremlin is still coming to grips with the economic impact of the most punitive penalties the US has imposed since first sanctioning Russia four years ago, over the conflict in Ukraine.
The latest measures, which Treasury called payback for Mr Putin’s “malign activity” in general, hit one of the country’s most powerful businessmen, billionaire Oleg Deripaska, the hardest. Shares of Mr Deripaska’s aluminium giant Rusal have plunged about 70 per cent in Hong Kong since the US basically banned the company from the dollar economy on April 6, erasing about US$6 billion (S$7.87 billion) of value and threatening 100,000 jobs at a time when Russia is limping out of its longest recession in two decades.
Mr Putin, who is due to be sworn in for what may be a final six-year term next month, is keen to avoid having another major company suffer a similar fate. It could be too late to reverse the downward spiral that’s taken relations to the lowest level in decades.
While Mr Trump is open to trying to improve ties, Congress and much of his administration are committed to keeping the pressure up on a country many view as America’s No. 1 enemy after allegations of Kremlin meddling in the 2016 elections.
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