On 18 December 2014, the EU published Council Regulation (EU) No 1351/2014 amending Council Regulation (EU) No 692/2014, and Council Decision 2014/933/CFSP amending Council Decision 2014/386/CFSP. Together, the amended Regulation and Decision expand the scope of sanctions already in place in respect of Crimea and Sevastopol, and in particular introduce prohibitions in respect of:

On 19 December 2014, President Obama issued Executive Order (“E.O.”) 13685, authorising new  blocking sanctions and trade restrictions targeting Russia-annexed Crimea.  The new trade restrictions on Crimea prohibit:

  1. Investments in real estate and businesses in Crimea or Sevastopol, including a ban on the provision of credit or loans to entities in Crimea or Sevastopol;
  2. Exports of a wide variety of goods and services to Crimea or Sevastopol, not limited to those relating to specific sectors or industries; and
  3. Services directly related to tourism.

On 19 December 2014, President Obama issued Executive Order (“E.O.”) 13685, authorising new  blocking sanctions and trade restrictions targeting Russia-annexed Crimea.  The new trade restrictions on Crimea prohibit:

  1. New investment in Crimea by a US person;
  2. Importation into the United States, directly or indirectly, of any goods, services or technology from Crimea;
  3. The exportation, reexportation, sale or supply, directly or indirectly, from the United States or by a US person of any goods, services or technology to Crimea; and
  4. Approval, financing, facilitation or guarantee by a US person of any transaction by non-US persons that would be prohibited under the EO if performed by a US person or within the States.

E.O. 13685 also authorises the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to impose sanctions on any person determined:

No persons have yet been designated pursuant to E.O. 13685. However, the trade restrictions described above are immediately effective.

Concurrent with the signing of E.O. 13685, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) issued Ukraine-related General License 4, which generally authorises the exportation or reexportation to Crimea of agricultural commodities, medicine, medical supplies and replacement parts for medical devices that would otherwise be prohibited by E.O. 13685.

On 30 December 2014, OFAC issued Ukraine-related General License 5, which provides a “winding down” period for E.O. 13685’s trade restrictions through the end of January 2015. The winding down period is limited to investments and import or export agreements in effect on 20 December 2014, and it does not allow any new exports from the United States to Crimea or any new imports into the United States from Crimea.

For further information on these topics, please see our Client Update “US and EU Continue to Expand Ukraine-related Sanctions and Clarify Sanctions Targeting Russian Companies”.

Statement by the President