On Monday, June 29, 2015, the Canadian government expanded its economic sanctions against Russia and the Crimea region of the Ukraine. Three additional individuals and 14 entities were added to the list under the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations of designated persons with whom most business dealings are prohibited. In addition, four notable energy sector companies, OJSC Gazprom, OJSC Gazprom Neft, OJSC Surgutneftegas, and Transneft OAO, were added to Schedule 3 of the Russia Regulations, which imposes significant restrictions on the provision of debt financing to these entities.

The three individuals are leaders of the Eurasian Youth Union, a Crimean separatist group that was also added to the sanctions list. Other sanctioned entities include an aerospace defence contractor, an investment fund, a motorcycle gang that has participated in the Crimea conflict, and a number of subsidiaries of Russian state-owned defence contractor Rostec Corporation.

A full list of the newly added designated persons under the Russia Regulations can be found here.

Canada also significantly expanded the Special Economic Measures (Ukraine) Regulations by imposing a number of broad, non-person specific prohibitions on imports, exports, and other dealings with the Crimea region of the Ukraine. The prohibited activities include:

  • the import and export of all goods to and from the Crimea region;
  • investments in the Crimea region or investments involving property held by or on behalf of the region or or a person in the region;
  • the provision or acquisition of financial or other services related to investments in the Crimea region;
  • the transfer, provision or communication of technical data or services to or from the Crimea region;
  • the provision or acquisition of financial or other services related to tourism to or from the Crimea region; and
  • docking of a Canadian-registered or licensed cruise ship in the Crimea region.

The prohibitions are subject to a grandfathering clause that exempts activities that are required to be performed under a contract entered into before the date the regulations came into effect (i.e., before June 29, 2015).

The new restrictions described above are limited to the Crimea region of the Ukraine and do not apply to the rest of the country. However, Canadians who do business in the Ukraine or with entities located in the Ukraine would be well advised to undertake enhanced due diligence with respect to their activities since it may not be immediately evident whether a business partner could be considered “a person in the Crimea region of Ukraine” for purposes of the sanctions.

A full copy of the amendments to the Ukraine Regulations can be found here.