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By John Helmer, Moscow The Oradea alumina refinery is a property of Oleg Deripaska’s in Romania. Deripaska (centre image) is the chief executive and controlling shareholder of United Company Rusal, the Russian aluminium monopoly. Deripaska bought Oradea in 2000 over the unanimous objections of the senior management of Rusal in Moscow at the time. The [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow United Company Rusal, the state aluminium monopoly run by Oleg Deripaska, is selling the Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria (Alscon). Only the Rusal announcement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEx) doesn’t put a name to the asset. Rusal is also not accepting that the Nigerian courts have already decided the [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow A decade ago, before the Annie-get-your-gun ladies got control of US policy in Ukraine, their Hopalong Cassidy predecessors were in charge. Back then, the menfolk tried an identical combination of bribery and democracy-funding, the point of which was to make sure Serbians lost their right to go to their own beach [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Winston Churchill likened his inability to know what happens in Moscow to a case of bulldogs fighting under a rug. Ivan Glasenberg (right), chief executive of GlencoreXstrata, and Oleg Deripaska (left), chief executive of United Company Rusal — secretive though they are — are too fond of each other to fight. [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow A new type of warfare is being tested in Ukraine. The strategem was first publicly disclosed on February 23, when Zbigniew Brzezinski — the wannabe Secretary of State if the Democratic Party wins the 2016 presidential election — proposed a billion-dollar levy on each of ten Ukrainian oligarchs. Brzezinski didn’t identify [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow United Company Rusal, the Russian aluminium monopoly headed by Oleg Deripaska (image right), has won a fresh round in its battle to keep control of its Nigerian aluminium smelter, and ward off claims from a Nigerian-American group whom it defeated in the privatization of the asset almost a decade ago. For [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Oleg Deripaska has never agreed to settle before judgement in international litigations against him, or against his management of United Company Rusal, unless Deripaska was certain his opponents held a winning hand. When Rusal announced last week that it has settled a London arbitration with Rusal shareholders, Victor Vekselberg and Len [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Once upon a time, not so long ago, the United States and Russia appeared to agree that the President of Tajikistan, Emomali Rahmon, was a crook. It now appears that whatever government officials say in private, in public it is now US policy, along with that of the multilateral banks which [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow For as long the Russian tax man can remember, Oleg Deripaska has managed to keep his tax bill far below his Russian peers in the metals business. As national champions go, Deripaska is it for tax minimization. In good years or bad years, whether the London Metal Exchange price for aluminium [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Oleg Deripaska’s (image right) associates inside Rusal say the company is so short of cash, the chief executive has no alternative but to squeeze the President of Tajikistan, Emomali Rahmon (left), and threaten to publish details of his offshore bank accounts, unless he comes across with almost $350 million. But Rahmon, [...]