On May 8, 2022, the White House announced a number of new measures in response to Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine. The new measures include prohibitions on new categories of services to Russia by U.S. persons; export controls on certain industrial goods; and the addition of several shipping companies, bank executives, and television companies to the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN) List.
On 10 March 2022, the UK Government added a further seven oligarchs to its list of sanctions targets, including the owner of Chelsea football club, Roman Abramovich. This was closely followed on 11 March 2022 by the sanctioning of 386 members of the Russian Duma (comparable sanctions had already been imposed by the EU).
Further aircraft-related sanctions
Airport operators, air traffic controllers and the Secretary of State have been granted new powers to issue directions to Russian aircraft (e.g., to take off, not to take off, and to land) and to suspend and revoke permissions needed to operate. The new provisions also allow the detention and movement of Russian aircraft and prohibit a person from providing aircraft insurance or reinsurance services to a person connected with Russia or where the aircraft is for use in Russia.
The EU and UK have imposed additional export controls and sanctions with respect to Russia and Belarus connected to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Below is a summary of key developments over recent days since our last blog post on EU and UK developments [here]. This is a rapidly developing area and future blog posts will summarize further developments.
On February 24, 2022, in response to Russia’s attack on Ukraine, President Biden announced further sanctions on Russian individuals and entities. These measures are in addition to those already announced on February 22 and 23 and are primarily targeted at Russia’s financial sector.
These sanctions are part of a global, coordinated effort to maximize consequences for Russia’s actions and show solidarity for Ukraine’s sovereignty. Global partners, including the UK, EU, Canada, Australia and Japan, have also issued sanctions.
Measures were taken both by the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) and the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS). The below contains a summary of recent OFAC sanctions action. We published a separate alert detailing recent amendments to the US Export Administration Regulations (EAR).
On February 24, 2022, the U.S. Government issued a number of sanctions measures in response to Russia’s attack on Ukraine. These measures include sweeping financial sanctions and stringent export controls, which will have broad impacts on companies and individuals doing business in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. Today’s announcement came alongside additional measures coordinated with U.S. allies, including the United Kingdom, European Union, Canada and Japan.
A brief overview of today’s U.S. measures is provided below. In following blogs, we will provide more focused looks at (a) U.S. sanctions; and (b) sanctions and export controls issued by a number of other key economies around the world.
On February 22 and 23, 2022, President Biden announced further sanctions in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. These sanctions build upon the U.S. sanctions issued on February 21, 2022. Specifically, the additional sanctions include (a) blocking two Russian financial institutions and their subsidiaries, as well as five Russian individuals associated with the Putin regime; (b) expanded sanctions targeting Russian sovereign debt and persons who support such transactions; and (c) sanctions on Nord Stream AG and its CEO.
The United Kingdom, European Union, Canada, Australia, and Japan have also issued or announced sanctions in response to Russia’s invasion. Further sanctions are likely if the situation in Ukraine continues to escalate.
On September 14, 2021, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s (KSA’ s) Cabinet of Ministers launched a new Permanent Ministerial Committee for Examining Foreign Investments (CEFI) that would review foreign investments for potential national security threats. This development comes at an important time as the Kingdom opens its doors for foreign investments in pursuit of the Vision 2030 plan. The Ministry of Investment recently reported that foreign investment licenses in the KSA rose 108% in the first half of 2021 in comparison the preceding year. The committee is expected to function in a manner similar to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), and the proposed UK National Security and Investment Bill, although its future role and implementation remain to be determined.
On August 9, 2021, the one-year anniversary of the claimed reelection of Belarusian leader Aleksandr Lukashenka, President Biden issued an “Executive Order on Blocking Property of Additional Persons Contributing to the Situation in Belarus” (August 9, 2021 Executive Order). The Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) implemented the executive order by sanctioning 27 individuals and 17 entities related to the Lukashenka regime.
The Biden Administration has signaled an expanded commitment to longstanding U.S. anti-corruption policies, and recent enforcement actions and policy announcements provide insights into what foreign officials, companies and investors can expect. Early signs indicate an intent both to bolster core anti-corruption enforcement through the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and anti-money laundering tools (see here), and to explore administrative tools such as targeted sanctions.
U.S., UK and EU authorities continue to expand sanctions targeting the Tatmadaw, Myanmar’s armed forces, following the February 1, 2021 military coup in Myanmar (also known as Burma). Over the past month, the United States and its European allies have imposed blocking and other sanctions on (a) the two major Tatmadaw-controlled conglomerates in Myanmar that provide financing for the armed forces; (b) additional gem, pearl and timber industry companies that provide sources of funding to the coup regime; and (c) further coup regime and Tatmadaw officials.