EU prolongs Russia ‘territorial integrity’ sanctions for 6 months

EU6As foreshadowed last week, the EU has prolonged its sanctions on Russia over “actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine” for a further 6 months, until 15 March 2019. The measures consist of an asset freeze and travel ban on 155 people and 44 entities. The legal acts will be published in the Official Journal tomorrow. See EU press release here.

EU to extend Russia ‘territorial integrity’ sanctions for 6 months

EU5Yesterday, EU ambassadors agreed to extend for 6 months the EU’s sanctions on Russia for “actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine”. These measures consist of an asset freeze and travel ban on 155 people and 44 entities. The legal acts will be published in the Official Journal in the coming days.

3rd countries align with EU sanctions on Libya, DPRK, Russia/Ukraine, Maldives & Terrorism

EU3.jpgLibya: On 30 July 2018, the EU adopted Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/1086, which removed an individual (Omar Ashkal) from its Libya sanctions. The following countries have aligned themselves with that Decision: Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Moldova, and Georgia. See EU press release.

DPRK: On 30 July 2018, the EU adopted Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/1087, which updated its sanctions on North Korea (DPRK). The following countries have aligned themselves with that Decision: Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Moldova, and Armenia. See EU press release.

Russia/Ukraine: On 5 July 2018, the EU adopted Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/964, which prolonged its sectoral sanctions on Russia for a further 6 months, until 31 January 2019. On 30 July, the EU also adopted Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/1085, which added 6 entities to its Russia/Ukraine sanctions (actions undermining the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine) for their involvement in the construction of the Kerch Bridge connecting Russia to the Crimean Peninsula. The following countries have aligned themselves with both of those Decisions: Montenegro, Albania, Norway, and Ukraine. See respective EU press releases here and here.

Maldives: On 16 July 2018, the EU adopted Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/1006, which established a sanctions framework on the Maldives in response to the country’s “continuing deterioration of the rule of law and human rights”. The following countries have aligned themselves with that Decision: Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Liechtenstein, Norway, Moldova, and Armenia. See EU press release.

Terrorism: On 16 July 2018, the EU adopted Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/1000, which added Algerian national Rabah Tahari to its ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaeda sanctions list. On 30 July, the EU also adopted Council Decision 2018/1084, which updated the list of persons and entities involved in terrorist acts as laid down by Council Common Position 2001/931/CFSP. The following countries have aligned themselves with both of those Decisions: Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Moldova, and Armenia. Furthermore, Liechtenstein and Georgia have aligned themselves with Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/1000 only. See respective EU press releases here and here.

EU sanctions 6 entities for Crimea bridge

EU1As foreshadowed, today the EU has added 6 entities to its sanctions that target those who undermine or threaten the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine. They have been listed for their involvement in the construction of the Kerch Bridge connecting Russia to the Crimean Peninsula.

The 6 entities are: AO “Institute Giprostroymost — Saint-Petersburg”; PJSC Mostotrest; JSC Zaliv Shipyard; Stroygazmontazh Corporation (SGM Group); Stroygazmontazh Most OOO; and CJSC VAD. See Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/1085, Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1072, and EU press release.  As we reported, Arkady Rotenberg, the reasons for whose original listing were annulled by the European court, was re-listed in July 2017 for being said to benefit from Stroygazmontazh’s construction contract for the bridge.

EU expands sanctions on 6 people involved in construction of the Crimean Bridge

Petro Poroshenko2Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko has announced that at the recent EU-Ukraine Summit, EU ambassadors agreed to impose targeted sanctions against 6 people involved in the “illegal construction” of the Kerch Strait Bridge (also known as the Crimean Bridge). The targeted measures have yet to be announced officially by the EU.

Third countries align with EU’s renewed Crimea & Sevastopol sanctions

EU3.jpgIn June 2018, the EU adopted Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/880, which extended for 1 year its sanctions in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by Russia until 23 June 2019 (see our previous blog for further details on those measures).

This week (18 July 2018), the EU announced that Montenegro, Albania, Norway, Ukraine and Georgia have aligned themselves with the Council Decision.

EU Court annuls 2017 re-listing of Andriy Klyuyev under Ukraine misappropriation sanctions

CJEU1We reported in September 2016 that the EU General Court had annulled the 2014 designation of Andriy Klyuyev (former Head of Administration of the President of Ukraine) under the EU’s sanctions relating to the misappropriation of Ukrainian state funds. However, the Court upheld his 2015 listing, as subsequently amended by the EU Council (see previous blog).

This week (11 July 2018), the same Court decided to uphold Mr Klyuyev’s 2016 listing but annulled his 2017 re-listing, see judgment: Klyuyev v Council T-240/16. The Court held that the information relied upon by the Council in maintaining Mr Klyuyev’s 2017 listing, as set out in letters from Ukraine’s Prosecutor General, had been “incomplete and tainted with inconsistencies”. Accordingly, when considered alongside the exculpatory evidence presented by Mr Klyuyev, the Council ought to have investigated further and sought clarification from the Ukrainian authorities. The Court held that the Council had therefore committed a manifest error of assessment in having considered that it was not required to take into account the evidence produced by Mr Klyuyev or to make further enquiries of the Ukrainian authorities.

In March 2018, Mr Klyuyev was re-listed until 6 March 2019 under Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/333. That 2018 re-listing, however, was not addressed in the present judgment. As a result, Mr Klyuyev continues to remain on the EU sanctions list (subject to an asset freeze).

EU extends Russian sectoral sanctions for 6 months

EU6.jpgThe EU has prolonged its sanctions targeting the financial, energy and defence sectors of the Russian economy until 31 January 2019, see Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/964 (we reported last week that EU leaders had agreed to continue the sanctions). The EU measures were originally introduced in July 2014 for 1 year (and strengthened in September 2014) in response to “Russia’s actions destabilising the situation in Ukraine”. EU press release here (includes a summary of the sanctions prolonged by this Decision).