Russia sanctions 252 Ukrainian persons & expands import ban on Ukrainian goods

Russia1In November 2018, 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” (see previous blog).

Last month, the Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, announced that 252 further Ukrainian persons (245 individuals and 7 companies) have been added to the Ukraine sanctions list. Those listings entered into force on 25 December 2018, and are said to include Ukrainian defence companies Ukroboronprom and Ukrspetsexport, energy company Tsentrenergo, and the State Export-Import Bank of Ukraine. See press release and full list.

Dmitry Medvedev also announced that Russia had expanded its “import ban on a range of Ukrainian goods” as part of a “retaliatory measure to Ukraine’s sanctions”. The expanded ban entered into force on 29 December 2018, and now covers 18 types of products. See press release and import ban list.

Former Ukrainian PM Azarov’s EU sanctions appeal

CJEU1The European Court of Justice has upheld an appeal by former Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov against the General Court’s judgment refusing to annul his 2015 listing on the EU’s Ukraine misappropriation sanctions. Judgment here: C-530/17 P (19 December 2018). The ECJ held that the General Court had erred in deciding that the EU Council had not been required to verify that the decision of the Ukrainian authorities, on which it had adopted these measures, had been taken in accordance with the rights of the defence and the right to effective judicial protection.

Mr Azarov remains listed because his challenge to his 2017 sanctions listing was rejected by the General Court a week before (and he was re-listed in 2018). Judgment here: T-247/17 (13 December 2018).

EU prolongs Russia sectoral sanctions until 31 July 2019

EU6As foreshadowed, the EU today prolonged its sanctions targeting the financial, energy and defence sectors of the Russian economy until 31 July 2019. This decision was reached due to “no progress” having been made on the implementation of the Minsk agreements, to which these sanctions are linked.

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”. They have been renewed every 6 months since. See Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/2078 and EU Press Release.

EU adds 9 to Russia sanctions list

EU5At today’s EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting, the EU adopted Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/1930 and Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1929, which adds 9 people to its Russia sanctions list targeting “actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine” (asset freezes and travel bans). The individuals were listed for “their involvement in the socalled elections in the socalled Donetsk Peoples Republic and Luhansk Peoples Republic’”. According to the EU Press Release, the EU “considers these “elections” illegal and illegitimate and does not recognise them”.

The Council will also be discussing today whether new sanctions should be imposed on those involved in the recent escalation in the Sea of Azov of Russian forces against Ukrainian ships, and whether to adopt a new sanctions regime targeting gross violations of human rights globally, similar to the US Magnitsky Act. See Meeting Agenda.

EU likely to further prolong Russia sectoral sanctions

EU3At last week’s G20 Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina (30 November), the President of the EU Council, Donald Tusk, stated that given the recent “escalation in the Sea of Azov” of Russian forces against Ukrainian ships, he was “sure that the EU [would] roll over the sanctions against Russia in December”, namely, the measures targeting the financial, energy and defence sectors of the Russian economy (which are due to expire on 31 January 2019). No reference was made as to whether EU leaders were looking to increase the scope of these sanctions.

The sectoral sanctions were originally introduced in July 2014 (and strengthened in September 2014) for 1 year in response to Russia’s actions “destabilising the situation in Ukraine”. The sanctions have been renewed every 6 months since adoption.

OFAC & Cobham Holdings reach $88k settlement over Ukraine sanctions violations

OFAC2OFAC has announced a $87,507 settlement with Virginia-based Cobham Holdings Inc in order to settle on behalf of its former subsidiary, Aeroflex/Metelics Inc, three violations of the Ukraine-Related Sanctions Regulations. Specifically, between July 2014 and January 2015, Metelics indirectly exported defence components for end-use by Russian defence company Almaz Antey Telecommunications LLC (AAT). At all relevant times, although AAT was not explicitly identified on the SDN List, it was owned 50% or more by Joint-Stock Concern Almaz-Antey, which OFAC had sanctioned on 16 July 2014 (two weeks before Metelics made its first shipment of defence components). See OFAC Notice and Enforcement Information.

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).