EU extends and modifies Ukraine sanctions
Responding to recent developments in Ukraine, the European Union modified restrictive measures, including asset freezes, taken against Russian and Ukrainian individuals and entities held responsible for misappropriation of public funds and human rights violations in Ukraine, as well as the violation of its territorial integrity.
Sanctions against former Ukrainian President Viktor Viktorovych Yanukovych and members of his inner circle were extended. They will be maintained:
until June 6, 2015 for Viktor Viktorovych Yanukovych himself; Olena Leonidivna Lukash, former Minister of Justice of Ukraine; Serhii Petrovych Kliuiev, brother of the former head of the Ukraine presidential administration; and Dmytro Volodymyrovych Tabachnyk, former Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine; and
until March 6, 2016 for 14 other officials.
A second set of sanctions were extended until September 15, 2015. These measures included wide-ranging asset freezing measures against Russian nationals and entities.
In addition, the EU removed five individuals from the sanctions list: Oleksii Mykolayovych Azarov, son of the former Prime Minister of Ukraine; Ihor Oleksandrovych Kalinin, former adviser to the President of Ukraine; Andriy Volodymyrovych Portnov, former adviser to the President of Ukraine; Oleksandr Hryhorovych Yakymenko, former Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine; and Ludmila Ivanovna Shvetsova, Deputy Chairman of the Russian State Duma. Two of the four de-listed individuals had lodged applications for annulment of their listings before the General Court of the EU. One is deceased.
The extensions and modifications to the restrictive measures were set out in Council Decision (CFSP) 2015/364, amending Council Decision 2014/119/CFSP and Council Regulation (EU) No. 208/2014, and in Council Decision (CFSP) 2015/432, amending Council Decision 2014/145/CFSP and Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No. 269/2014.
New additions to EU Syria sanctions
On March 6, 2015, the EU added to its restrictive measures seven individuals and six entities deemed to support the Assad regime. Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/375 now subjects these individuals and entities to travel bans and asset freezes in the EU.
The EU’s additions are meant to put pressure on those dealing with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or with the Assad regime’s militias. They also specifically target developers, proliferators and users of chemical weapons.
Amendments to EU Libya sanctions
On March 7, 2015, the EU amended its list of targeted individuals and entities in view of the situation in Libya.
Ahmed Mohammed Qadhaf Al-Dam, the cousin of former Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi, was removed from the sanctions list after the General Court of the EU annulled the asset freeze imposed on him (Case T-348/13). This decision demonstrates once again the important interplay between the EU sanctions regime and litigation before the EU courts. The EU Libya sanctions were amended by Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/376.
In addition to this de-listing, the EU updated the listing criteria of Article 1 of Council Decision 2011/137/CFSP to reflect the latest developments related to UN Security Council Resolution 2174 (2014).