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Mnuchin defends U.S. decision to lift sanctions on Russian firms

Mnuchin defends U.S. decision to lift sanctions on Russian firms
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks to the news media after giving a television interview at the White House in Washington, U.S. December 3, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo -
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Leah Millis(Reuters)
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Thursday sought to allay Democratic lawmakers' concerns about a Trump administration decision to remove companies tied to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska from the U.S. sanctions list ahead of a congressional meeting over the issue.

"Treasury will be vigilant in ensuring that En+ and Rusal meet these commitments. If these companies fail to comply with the terms, they will face very real and swift consequences, including the reimposition of sanctions," Mnuchin said in a statement before his closed-door briefing with U.S. lawmakers.

(Reporting by Susan Heavey and Tim Ahmann; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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