Relief for workers as US Senate fails to block lifting Aughinish Alumina sanctions

AL Circle

The US Senate reportedly failed in its attempt on Wednesday evening, January 16, to block the agreement to lift sanctions against Rusal, the parent company of Aughinish Alumina. With this arrived an immense relief among nearly 400 Aughinish workers in Limerick.


The news came when a junior minister reported this and said: “Workers at Aughinish Alumina in Limerick can breathe a huge sigh of relief."

In late December, the Trump administration had announced its intention to remove sanctions against Rusal, following which the company agreed to significantly reduce Deripaska’s stakes and sever his control.

The decision was welcomed by Irish officials as well who lobbied intensively for the sanctions to be lifted.

However, fresh concerns arose when the US Democrats expressed their opposition to the lifting of sanctions.  A democratic leader in the House of Representatives even said that the Trump administration, for nothing, is going soft on Russia.

But their attempt eventually failed to pass as the votes fell short of the 60-vote majority needed to do so with 57 votes to 42.

This clears the way for the sanctions to be lifted as and from Friday, January 18, Limerick leader understands.

Minister of State Patrick O’Donovan said after the vote, “hopefully this is the end of a long drawn out matter.”

In a statement, he further said: "We need to await developments over the next day or so to ensure that the de-listing goes ahead as planned on Friday.

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