Gov’t welcomes lifting of sanctions on RUSAL


The Government of Guyana has welcomed the United States decision to conditionally lift sanctions on Russian aluminum company, RUSAL since it ensures local jobs are no longer in jeopardy.

A statement from the Ministry of Natural Resources on Thursday noted that it is “cautiously optimistic, and happy” with the matter heading to a resolution.

RUSAL owns 90% of the Aroaima, Berbice-based Bauxite Company of Guyana Inc (BCGI) and employs over 500 persons at its operations on the Berbice River with the majority being Guyanese

The US Government instituted sanctions against the Russian Aluminum’s owner, Oleg Deripaska in April of this year citing “malign activities” by Russia.

However, this week, the US Administration agreed to remove financial restrictions on RUSAL if Deripaska’s ownership stake is significantly reduced in 30 days, which the company has reportedly agreed to.

RUSAL along with two other companies owned by Deripaska will face severe consequences if they fail to comply.

The Guyana Government in its Thursday statement noted that it has been monitoring the unfolding saga for several months and making necessary interventions, in conjunction with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Over that time, workers have continually expressed their concern about the impact of these sanctions.

The Ministry said RUSAL committed that it “will do everything necessary to return the company to regular working conditions”.

The Ministry said it continues to ensure that bauxite is mined and shipped to the benefit of workers and their families, and by extension, the national economy and will continue to address ongoing, and future, labour issues and guard workers’ rights.

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