October 18, 2016 / 2:16 PM / a year ago

Citing security fears, Ukraine puts sanctions on Russia's Rusal

KIEV, Oct 18 (Reuters) - Ukraine imposed sanctions on Russian aluminium giant Rusal on Tuesday, accusing the company of actions that threaten Ukrainian national security and assets, according to a presidential decree.

Kiev has already placed economic and other restrictions on more than 300 Russian citizens and companies following Russia’s annexation of its Crimea peninsula in March 2014 and the ensuing pro-Russian separatist uprising in the east.

Rusal, the world’s second largest aluminium producer, is the owner of Ukraine’s biggest alumina plant Mykolayiv and also controls a part of ZALK, Ukraine’s only aluminium producer. Alumina is used in producing aluminium.

According to the decree, Ukrainian authorities will have the right to block Rusal’s assets and restrict its trade operations inside the country. The decree did not elaborate on how Rusal’s activities threatened Ukraine.

Sanctions also include a ban on withdrawing capital, exclusion from bidding for state contracts and a ban on share transactions.

Rusal said the sanctions were unwarranted and that it would seek compensation in court.

“RUSAL and its member companies have no influence on the political processes taking place in Ukraine, do not create a threat to national security, and do not hinder the economic development of the country,” the company said in a statement.

“Inclusion of the company subsidiaries in the sanctions list is detrimental to our shareholders,” it added.

Rusal’s group of assets produced 7.4 million tonnes of alumina globally in 2015, of which about 1.5 mln tonnes were produced by Mykolayiv. (Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; additional reporting by Polina Devitt in MOSCOW; editing by Matthias Williams/Keith Weir)

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