Last week, the European Parliament’s recommendation to the Council on 2 April 2014 was published, recommending visa restrictions and asset freezes for Russian officials said to be involved in the Sergei Magnitsky case. The recommendation called for 32 named Russian citizens to be placed on an EU-wide visa ban list and to seize any financial assets that they might hold within the EU.
The EU prohibitions on Russia (see Article 2 of Council Decision 2014/512/CFSP and Article 4 of Council Regulation (EU) 833/2014) have been amended to permit the provision (directly or indirectly) of “technical assistance, financing or financial assistance” related to the sale, supply, transfer or export and the import, purchase or transport of hydrazine in concentrations of 70% or more, provided that that “technical assistance, financing or financial assistance” refers to hydrazine destined for: (i) the tests and flight of the ExoMars descent module, in the framework of the ExoMars 2020 mission; or (ii) the flight of the ExoMars carrier module, in the framework of the ExoMars 2020 mission. See: Council Decision (CFSP) 2017/2214 and Council Regulation (EU) 2017/2212.
A Russian court has dismissed Siemens’ action against Technopromexport, a subsidiary of Russian state conglomerate Rostec, and has refused to order the seizure of four power turbines that were transferred to Russia-annexed Crimea.
The lawsuit had been filed in July after Siemens had learned that the turbines had been diverted to Crimea in breach of contract and in violation of EU sanctions imposed on Russia for “actions destabilising the situation in Ukraine”.
These changes relate to the amended Ukraine/Russia-related Directive 1 and Directive 2 that were issued on 29 September 2017, in accordance with Title II of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act of 2017 (CAATSA). Certain CAATSA-related prohibitions in the amended Directives had a delayed effective date of 28 November 2017.
In order to account for the fact that the CAATSA-related prohibitions in the amended Directives have now come into effect, General Licence 1B addresses the decrease in the debt/equity maturity dates for Directive 1 from 30 days to 14 days, and the decrease in the maturity dates for Directive 2 from 90 days to 60 days (these new prohibitions relate to debt issued on or after 28 November 2017).
The EU has today added Dmitry Vladimirovich Ovsyannikov, Governor of Sevastopol, to its sanctions list for actions “undermining Ukraine’s territorial integrity”, see Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/2153 and Council Decision (CFSP) 2017/2163.
The EU Notice says Mr Ovsyannikov may submit a request to the Council for a reconsideration of his designation, and may challenge the Council’s decision in the EU General Court. EU press release here, and UK OFSI Notice here.
Ukraine’s Ministry of Economic Development and Trade has imposed sanctions against 18 Russian companies for actions that “may harm the interests of national economic security” (orders No. 1582 and 1583). The sanctions prohibit economic activity in Ukraine for those entities from 9 December 2017.
The entities are reported to be: Loli-Pak Exports, the Snack Group, Belgorod Khladokombinat, Donspetsstroy Trading House, Yuzhtrans, Mikas, Stroyservis, Volma-Marketing, the Penetron-Russia group of companies, the Penetron-Russia Trading House, Penetron-Export, Volma-VTR, Penetron, Aromadon Trading House, the Starfud-Yug Trading House, MK-Metiz, Narodny Plastic, and Miroshnikova Irina Vladimirovna.
Pursuant to the recently passed Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act (Sergei Magnitsky Law) (see previous blog here), Canada has imposed targeted sanctions on 52 foreign nationals (including 30 Russians) by enacting the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Regulations. The Regulations were made in response to three different sets of circumstances, namely, “the case of Sergei Magnitsky, and incidents of corruption and gross human rights violations by officials linked to the Maduro regime and by officials in South Sudan”, see here.
The Regulations prohibit any person in Canada, or any Canadian outside of Canada, from dealing, directly or indirectly, with any of the listed foreign nationals.
In response to the measures, Russian authorities have imposed a ban on a number of Canadian public figures from entering Russia (without specifying who has been affected).
In accordance with section 223(d) of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), the US Office of Foreign Assets Control has amended Ukraine/Russia-Related Directive 4.
Under the Directive, unless licenced or authorised by OFAC, the following activities by a US person or within the US are prohibited: “the provision, exportation, or reexportation, directly or indirectly, of goods, services (except for financial services), or technology in support of exploration or production for deepwater, Arctic offshore, or shale projects” that have the potential to produce oil in territories of, or claimed by, the Russian Federation, and that involves any person listed under the Directive.
The amendments to the Directive adds a ban on projects that are initiated on or after 29 January 2018, that have the potential to produce oil in “any location”, and in which any person listed under the Directive has a 33% or greater ownership interest, or ownership of a majority of the voting interests.
There are further prohibitions on transactions that evade, avoid or violate (including attempts) any of the prohibitions contained in the Directive. Links available for the OFAC Notice, updated OFAC FAQs relating to the Directive, and new OFAC FAQs relating to particular provisions of CAATSA. In addition, the US Department of State has published public guidance concerning energy sanctions relating to the Russian Federation, specifically sections 225 and 232 of CAATSA.