Putin ally Oleg Deripaska denies Kremlin encouraged his lawsuit against US Treasury sanctions

Putin ally Oleg Deripaska denies Kremlin encouraged his lawsuit against US Treasury sanctions

Deripaska said the impact of the sanctions — which he described as “a very strong instrument” — had forced him to adapt to a “new reality.”

The Trump administration lifted the sanctions on Rusal and En+ in January — against Democrats’ objections — but not the sanctions on Deripaska himself.

Deripaska’s lawsuit demands that his name be removed from a list of sanctioned individuals, and that the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, cancel their decision to label him an “oligarch” and disclose records related to him. The legal complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, names Mnuchin and OFAC Director Andrea Gacki as defendants.

A Treasury Department spokesperson contacted by CNBC on Friday declined to comment on the pending litigation.

OFAC’s addition of Deripaska to a list of “Designated Russian Oligarchs” last April was based on allegations that he acted on behalf of “a senior official of the Government of the Russian Federation,” as well as for allegations of “money laundering … threatening the lives of business rivals, illegally wiretapping a government official, and taking part in extortion and racketeering,” as well as his operation in the Russian energy sector.

But the billionaire’s lawsuit is unlikely to be successful, according to Timothy Ash, a Russia expert and senior emerging markets strategist at Bluebay Asset Management.

“Cannot see a strategy of taking on the U.S. Treasury ending well. That’s an affront to the whole U.S. sanctions regime,” Ash told CNBC in an email. “Resistance is futile, as they say, when it comes to fighting OFAC and the U.S. Treasury.”

Read Deripaska’s legal complaint below:

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