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The top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is blasting Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin for entertaining the idea of lifting sanctions on a Russian aluminum company with ties to former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.

In a letter sent Wednesday, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) urged Mnuchin to maintain the sanctions that were slapped on Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska in April, arguing that they are a necessary aspect of U.S. efforts to punish Russian President Vladimir Putin and his inner circle for Moscow’s interference in the 2016 election.

“I welcomed these designations in light of Mr. Deripaska’s relationship with the companies and would strongly oppose any effort to remove the sanctions unless and until Mr. Deripaska divests from and relinquishes control of both companies,” Menendez wrote in a letter obtained by The Daily Beast.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Author: By andrew.desiderio@thedailybeast.com (Andrew Desiderio)