EUROPE MOVES AHEAD WITH INCREASED RUSSIAN SANCTIONS

On 8 September 2014, new European sanctions were agreed against Russian interests. Despite their formal adoption, the sanctions are only due to take effect “in the next few days”, leaving sufficient time for the EU to assess the changing situation on the ground in Ukraine. EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy has noted that “the EU stands ready to review the agreed sanctions in whole or in part” depending on the perceived willingness of Russia to comply with the negotiated ceasefire between the parties that began in Ukraine on 5 September 2014. The ceasefire agreement has proved fragile over the last few days.

The new measures tighten the existing bar on Russian entry to EU capital markets to include a ban on syndicated loans by EU banks. The targets of these sanctions have also been expanded to include Russian defence and oil companies, rather than just nominated Russian banks. Russian oil giants Rosneft, Transneft and Gazprom have all fallen under the new regulations, as well as defence manufacturers Oboronprom, United Aircraft Corporation, and UralVagonZavod.

Further sanctions also include a ban on the export of ‘dual-use technologies’ (products that can be used for both civilian and military purposes), and a prohibition on the supply of European associated services (such as drilling and well-testing) to Russian oil exploration industries. The sanctions are also said to add to the current individual targeted sanctions, however the list of names has yet to be released.

The new sanctions follow the proposals put forward in the recently leaked Commission paper entitled ‘Outline of proposals for a second round of restrictive measures on Russia’. Notably, the options paper also makes reference to Russian sporting and cultural events as possible future targets for sanctions, including the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which is set to be hosted by Moscow.

 

This entry was posted in Latest EU Measures, Russia, Ukraine by Michael O'Kane. Bookmark the permalink.

About Michael O'Kane

Michael O’Kane is a partner and Head of the Business Crime team at leading UK firm Peters & Peters. Described as ‘first-rate’ (Legal 500 2012), he “draws glowing praise from commentators” (Chambers 2013) for handling the international aspects of business crime, including sanctions, extradition and mutual legal assistance. Called to the Bar in 1992 and prior to joining Peters & Peters he was a senior specialist prosecutor at the Crown Prosecution Service Headquarters(CPS). At CPS HQ he was a key member of a small specialist unit responsible for the prosecution of serious and high profile fraud, terrorist and special interest criminal matters including the Stansted Airport Afghan hijacking and the prosecution of Paul Burrell (Princess Diana’s butler). Michael joined Peters & Peters in 2002. He became a partner in May 2004, and Head of the Business Crime team in May 2009. Since joining Peters & Peters, Michael has dealt with a wide range of business crime matters. He has particular expertise in international sanctions, criminal cartels, extradition, corruption, mutual legal assistance, and FSA investigations. Described as“ an influential practitioner in fraud and regulatory work, so much so that he is top of the referral lists of many City firms for independent advice for directors” (The Lawyer’s Hot 100 2009), he was recognised as one of the UK’s most innovative lawyers in the 2011 FT Innovative Lawyer Awards and included in the list of the UK's leading lawyers in 'The International Who's Who of Asset Recovery 2012. In 2012 he was the winner of the Global Competition Review Article of the Year. Michael regularly appears on television and radio to discuss his specialist areas and he is the author of the leading textbook on the UK Criminal Cartel Offence “The Law of Criminal Cartels-Practice and Procedure” (Oxford University Press 2009). Recent/Current Sanctions Work • Representing 109 individuals and 12 companies subject to designation by the European Council under targeted measures imposed against Zimbabwe. This is the largest and most complex collective challenge to a sanctions listing ever brought before the European Court. • Acting for a former Egyptian Minister and his UK resident wife, challenging their designation by the European Council of Ministers under targeted measures brought against former members of the Egyptian Government. • Advising a company accused in a UN investigation report to have breached UN sanctions imposed in relation to Somalia. • Advising a UK company in relation to ongoing commercial relationships with an Iranian company listed under both EU and UN sanctions. • Advising an individual in relation to a UK investigation for alleging breaching nuclear export controls.

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