Russian Oligarch Sues the U.S. Over Sanctions

WASHINGTON — Oleg V. Deripaska, a Russian oligarch with close ties to the Kremlin, sued the United States government on Friday, demanding it lift sanctions that he claimed have cost him billions of dollars, made him “radioactive” in international business circles and exposed him to criminal investigation and asset confiscation in Russia.

In a lawsuit filed in United States District Court in Washington, Mr. Deripaska said that the sanctions, leveled in April by the Treasury Department, should be struck down because they deprived him of due process and relied on unproven smears that fell outside the sanctions program.

The lawsuit called Mr. Deripaska “the latest victim of this country’s political infighting and ongoing reaction to Russia’s purported interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections,” and asserted that “the general hysteria surrounding Deripaska prevents him from having a meaningful opportunity to challenge” the sanctions “through the normal channels for doing so.”

The sanctions were imposed in retaliation for “a range of malign activity around the globe” by Russia, including its election interference and its incursions into neighboring Ukraine, Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, said at the time.

The lawsuit came even as Democrats continued demanding information from Mr. Mnuchin and the Treasury Department about the deal under which Mr. Deripaska’s companies were removed from sanctions.

The deal was billed by Treasury as penalizing Mr. Deripaska by separating him from the companies, while allowing the companies — which play an important role in global aluminum markets — to survive.

But a binding confidential document signed by both sides revealed that the deal would leave Mr. Deripaska and his allies with majority ownership of EN+. The agreement would transfer 1.64 percent of the shares of the company, valued at about $100 million, to an entity called the Liberi Foundation, which company officials said is a trust for Mr. Deripaska’s children.

At a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Thursday, Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, questioned Mr. Mnuchin about the transfer of shares to the trust.

“It sure looks like Mr. Deripaska’s children are benefiting from a sanctions effort meant to punish him,” Mr. Wyden said, calling the sanctions relief deal “a Keystone Kops-level sanction enforcement.”

Mr. Mnuchin rejected the characterization.

“I can assure you it wasn’t a Keystone Kops effort,” he said, explaining that career Treasury officials at the Office of Foreign Assets Control worked hard to draft a deal that would sufficiently punish Mr. Deripaska.

Mr. Mnuchin said he would follow up with Mr. Wyden next week with more information about the transfer of shares to the trust fund for Mr. Deripaska’s children.

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