However, there is nothing funny about this. For the first time, a well-known public company from Russia was included in the list of “bad guys,” such as drug dealers and rogue countries, in the eyes of the West, such as North Korea and Iran. Residents of the United States of America must terminate all contracts with a Russian company and dispose of its assets. The London Metal Exchange has stopped working with Rusal products.
Rusal accounts for about 6% of global aluminum production. Oleg Deripaska's enterprises employ approximately 170 people. In the Russian city of Shelekhov, 000 residents depend on work at the aluminum smelter; in Bratsk, the aluminum smelter is a city-forming enterprise. Residents of cities dependent on work at Rusal enterprises are anxiously awaiting the development of the situation and support measures from the state. The closure or suspension of the activities of city-forming enterprises will lead to an increase in social tension in the regions and protest activity.
The first problem that the Russian metallurgical giant will encounter in the future is the pyramid of credit debt taken in foreign currency. The second, even more important problem is the search for new markets. European Union countries accounted for 42% of the company's supplies, North America as a whole - 20%, directly to the United States - 10%, Rusal supplied 17% of its volumes to Southeast Asia, 24% remained in the CIS and the Russian Federation produced aluminum.
It is obvious that Deripaska will try to redirect sales to the market of the Asia-Pacific region, however, one should hardly expect miracles from this “turn to the East”. The Chinese are watching too news and they know the plight of the Russian aluminum industry. Famous for their manner of bargaining endlessly and waiting, the Chinese "partners" will clearly squeeze everything out of the situation, knocking out maximum discounts from the defeated oligarch. The billionaire should forget about the former profits.
The Russian authorities clearly understand that Deripaska and its structures cannot do without help. Finance Minister Anton Siluanov promised assistance with short-term liquidity by leveraging the shoulder of Promsvyazbank. According to the minister, the state is also working on other support measures:
We must now take care of the stable operation of enterprises owned by Rusal and which have come under sanctions. There are still about 170 thousand workers. The state, of course, should keep this in mind.
At the same time, the authorities have not yet matured to the repurchase of the shares of the problematic Rusal, but it will be satisfied with the purchase of its aluminum products to replenish the state reserve. In general, Russian lawmakers are in solidarity with the executive branch. State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin spoke about the need to support oligarchs who fell under US sanctions:
We are obliged to support our companies, our manufacturers in the conditions of just such external pressure. We are talking about our most important enterprises. About the life of single-industry towns, where these enterprises are the only place of work, they provide virtually the entire life of the city. We are talking about thousands of labor collectives, people's salaries, their families, their life plans and well-being
An interesting proposal was made by billionaire Alexei Mordashov, whose company Power Machines fell under sanctions due to the supply of Siemens turbines to Crimea. He proposed to actively engage in import substitution, provided that the state will take on half of the costs in terms of financing R&D and the testing base and will support access to domestic and foreign markets. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev suggested discussing this idea behind closed doors.