- The 50-year-old was the most high-profile victim of sweeping new US sanctions
- Deripaska’s relationship with Mandelson has been controversial since 2008
US imposed sanctions have hit the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska and his businesses
Lord Mandelson’s advisory firm has deserted the peer’s former associate, aluminium tycoon Oleg Deripaska, as US sanctions tighten around the Russian oligarch.
Mandelson chairs Global Counsel, which recently won a contract with Deripaska’s energy group EN+ to advise it on climate change.
The Mail on Sunday understands that a contract was not signed and – following Deripaska’s appearance on a US sanctions list – it will remain unsigned.
The sanctions against Deripaska and others have sent global banks and commodities traders running for cover, desperate to avoid a similar fate.
While the rules technically only prevent Deripaska dealing in dollars or with US citizens, the wide-ranging material support clauses mean anyone who transacts with him could themselves be added to the sanctions list.
Nigel Kushner, a lawyer and sanctions expert at W Legal, said: ‘The aim is to cut sanctioned persons off from the financial system. They are incredibly effective.’
The price of aluminium spiked as much as 12 per cent last week as a result of the crackdown on Deripaska. His businesses are major suppliers of the metal.
The 50-year-old was the most high-profile victim of sweeping new US sanctions introduced earlier this month in attempts to hobble rich Russians close to President Vladimir Putin.
Deripaska’s relationship with Mandelson has been controversial since 2008 when the Labour peer stayed on the tycoon’s yacht in Corfu and was alleged to have made poisonous remarks about then Prime Minister Gordon Brown. There were also claims that Mandelson was too close to Deripaska in his role as EU trade commissioner.
The tycoon is also facing the potential loss of his historic London mansion – 5 Belgrave Square – which is reputedly worth as much as £50 million and backed by a mortgage from Credit Suisse. Lawyers said the sanctions mean the bank is likely to call in the loan.
Luxury: The yacht owned by Oleg Deripaska moored in Corfu when Lord Mandelson was a guest
‘No one in their right mind will refinance – other than a Russian bank. But Credit Suisse will be reticent to be paid out by a Russian bank,’ a source said.
Deripaska’s mansion was the home of Tory MP Sir Henry ‘Chips’ Channon, who held parties there for the Royal Family in the 1930s.