April 23 (UPI) -- The U.S. Treasury announced Monday the easing of sanctions on a Russian aluminum producer Rusal -- a firm with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The Treasury said it would consider lifting the sanctions altogether if the company severs ties with Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch who has ties to Putin.
"Rusal has felt the impact of U.S. sanctions because of its entanglement with Oleg Deripaska, but the U.S. government is not targeting the hardworking people who depend on RUSAL and its subsidiaries," Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said in a statement.
"Rusal has approached us to petition for delisting. Given the impact on our partners and allies, we are issuing a general license extending the maintenance and wind-down period while we consider Rusal's petition."
Rusal was sanctioned this month by the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control because of Deripaska's stake in the company.
According to the Treasury, Deripaska conducted a range of illegal business activities, including money laundering, extortion and ordering the death of a businessman.
The Treasury's announcement Monday will grant a six-month "wind-down" period, during which U.S. and foreign entities won't be penalized for doing business with Rusal.
The Office of Foreign Assets Control said "the path for the United States to provide sanctions relief is through divestment and relinquishment of control of Rusal by Oleg Deripaska."