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Russian aluminum giant Rusal calls investigation in Ukraine ‘political pressure'

Wednesday, Aug 30, 2017

Russian aluminum giant Rusal views an investigation regarding its Zaporozhye Aluminium Smelter (ZALK) in Ukraine as an attempt to put political pressure ahead of litigation in an international court, a company spokesman said on Tuesday.

"The company views those illegal actions as an attempt to retaliate and put political pressure over a lawsuit against the government of Ukraine filed by Rusal to the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)," an official spokesman for the company told TASS.

Earlier in the day, it was reported that the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) accused Rusal representatives, former ZALK managers, Ukrainian businessmen and foreign citizens of deliberately destroying ZALK to the benefit of Russia.

According to investigators, the state of Ukraine sustained losses of over $39 million and over 100 million Ukrainian hryvnias (about $4 million) as a result of their actions.

The facility, Ukraine’s only aluminum producer, halted production completely in 2014.

The Ukrainian government nationalized ZALK in 2015, accusing Rusal of deliberately eliminating a market rival. A 68-percent stake in the enterprise was handed over to the State Property Fund of Ukraine. The Russian aluminum producer retained a 29.56-percent stake in ZALK. Rusal subsidiaries Emergofin B.V. and Velbay Holdings Ltd turned to the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in a bid to reverse the nationalization.

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