OFAC adds 12 to Russia/Ukraine sanctions lists

US Treasury Building2Yesterday, OFAC sanctioned 3 individuals and 9 entities in response to “Russia’s continuing malign activity and destabilizing behavior”. See OFAC Notice and US Treasury press release.

2 individuals, Andriy Volodymyrovych Sushko and Aleksandr Vasilevich Basov, and 1 entity, Ministry of State Security, were designated for committing “serious human rights abuses in the furtherance of the Russian Federation’s forcible occupation or control of territories of Ukraine”. These designations were made under the Support for the Sovereignty, Integrity, Democracy, and Economic Stability of Ukraine Act of 2014, as amended by Section 228 of CAATSA (asset freeze and travel ban imposed).

1 individual, Vladimir Nikolaevich Zaritsky, and 8 entities were designated pursuant to Executive Order (EO) 13685 for being “responsible for advancing Russian interests by operating in the Crimea region of Ukraine” (asset freeze and travel ban imposed). The 8 entities: Joint Stock Company Sanatorium AY-Petri; Joint Stock Company Sanatorium Dyulber; Joint Stock Company Sanatorium Miskhor; Krymtets, AO; Limited Liability Company Garant-SV; Limited Liability Company Infrastructure Projects Management Company; Limited Liability Company Southern Project (this entity was also designated pursuant to EO 13661); and Mriya Resort & Spa.

Russia sanctions 390 Ukrainian people and companies

Dmitry Medvedev PMYesterday, Russia added 322 individuals and 68 entities to its Ukraine sanctions list (asset freezes) in order to “counter Ukraine’s unfriendly actions towards Russian citizens and legal entities, to ensure that the restrictions imposed by Ukraine on Russian citizens and legal entities are lifted and to encourage the normalisation of bilateral relations”.

According to the press release, the list includes Judges on the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, deputies of the 8th Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, businesspeople, officials from the Executive Office of the President of Ukraine, heads of executive authorities of Ukraine and large Ukrainian companies, and legal entities controlled by Ukrainian businesspeople. These measures were adopted in accordance with last week’s Presidential Executive Order (see previous blog).

Boris Rotenberg claim against Nordic banks in Finland

Helsinki.jpgBoris Rotenberg, who is subject to US Russia sanctions, has brought proceedings at the Helsinki District Court against 4 Nordic banks (Nordea, Danske Bank, Handelsbanken, and OP Bank) for breaching his right to equal treatment as an EU citizen by refusing to make payments on his behalf. The banks are said to have refused banking services to Mr Rotenberg because of US secondary sanctions concerns.

Russian Executive Order calling for new Ukraine sanctions

Putin3Yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an Executive Order instructing the Government of Russia to designate a number of Ukrainian individuals and entities for “special economic measures” in response to “Ukraine’s unfriendly actions that contradict international law”, including the imposition of sanctions on a number of Russian persons. The Executive Order states that its application may be cancelled if the sanctions “imposed by Ukraine against the citizens and legal entities of the Russian Federation are lifted”.

Third countries align with EU sanctions on Russia/Ukraine & Libya

EU3Russia/Ukraine: Last month, the EU adopted Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/1237, which prolonged for 6 months its sanctions on Russia over “actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine” (see previous blog).

The EU has now announced that the following countries have aligned themselves with that Council Decision: Montenegro; Albania; Norway; and Ukraine.

Libya: Last month, the EU adopted Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/1465, which extended for 6 months its sanctions on Libya in respect of 3 people: Agila Saleh Issa Gwaider; Khalifa Ghwell; and Nuri Abu Sahmain (see previous blog).

The EU has now announced that the following countries have aligned themselves with that Council Decision: Macedonia; Montenegro; Serbia; Albania; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Iceland; Liechtenstein; Norway; and Armenia.

EU Court upholds sanctions on Russian defence company Almaz-Antey

CJEU1.pngThe EU General Court has dismissed Russian defence company Almaz-Antey’s application to annul its 2016-2017 listing under the EU’s sectoral sanctions on Russia – see judgment here (13 September). The same Court dismissed the company’s action against its 2015-2016 listing (see previous blog).

The Court held (inter alia) that the stated objective of the sanctions regime was to increase the costs of Russian acts undermining the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, and to promote a peaceful settlement of the crisis. That such an objective was consistent with the objective of maintaining peace and international security, in accordance with the EU’s external action objectives. Furthermore, with regard to the principle of proportionality, the importance of the objectives pursued had justified the possibility that, for certain operators, which were in no way responsible for the situation in Ukraine, the consequences may be negative, even significantly so. Consequently, interference with the Almaz-Antey’s freedom to conduct a business and the right to property could not be considered disproportionate in the circumstances.

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. See Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/1237, Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1230, and EU press release.

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.