US and EU extend sanctions against Russia and Ukraine

The US and EU have extended several of their sanctions regimes against Russia and Ukraine, which they first imposed in 2014 in response to Russia’s involvement in the Ukraine crisis.

The US has extended its targeted sanctions against senior Russian officials, businessmen, and state-owned companies for 1 year until 6 March 2017, freezing their assets within US jurisdiction and prohibiting US persons from doing business with them.  The sanctions also impose a travel ban on listed people.  The White House’s notice on the extension is here.

The EU has decided to extend its asset freezes and travel bans against around 146 Russian officials and pro-Russia separatists and around 37 entities, designated for undermining the territorial integrity or stability of Ukraine.  These sanctions are likely to be extended for 6 months.

It has also decided to extend a separate regime targeting public corruption in Ukraine, which imposes asset freezes against 16 people said to have been involved in the misappropriation of Ukrainian state funds (1 person will be de-listed having repaid funds that were allegedly misappropriated).  The EU is likely to extend these sanctions for 1 year.  All new EU measures are due to be published in the Official Journal on Saturday 5 March.

It is reported that there was little debate between EU foreign ministers over the extension of these sanctions, but much greater disagreement is expected over the extension of the EU’s sectoral sanctions which target the Russian economy.

Both the US and EU have stated that the duration of their respective sanctions regimes on Russia is tied to Russia’s complete implementation of the Minsk peace agreements, which inter alia require that Russia help Ukraine to regain control over rebel-held areas.  The US has accused Russia of continuing to support the rebels with money and weapons.

This entry was posted in Latest EU Measures, Russia, Ukraine, USA 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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