I. US SANCTIONS

  • FinCEN Designates Russian Virtual Currency Exchange as ‘Primary Money Laundering Concern’: US Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo announced at a press conference at the Department of Justice on January 18, 2022 that the Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued an order identifying the virtual currency exchange Bitzlato Limited (Bitzlato) as a “primary money laundering concern” in connection with Russian illicit finance pursuant to section 9714(a) of the Combatting Russian Money Laundering Act. The Deputy Secretary stated the important role Bitzlato plays in facilitating “Russian-affiliated ransomware groups”, assisting circumvention sanctions, and “enriching Russia’s malicious interests” as it wages war in Ukraine. The Deputy Secretary added that this order “sends a clear message that we are prepared to take action against any financial institution – including virtual asset service providers – with lax controls against money laundering, terrorist financing, or other illicit finance.Read more>> and Read more>>
  • OFAC Issues New Russia-Related General Licenses: On January 17, OFAC issued 3 new General Licenses for Russia sanctions.
    • General License No. 6C revises and replaces General License 6B to authorize certain transactions related to agricultural equipment. Read more>>
    • General License 28B extends General License 28A, which authorizes transactions that are ordinarily incident and necessary to the wind down of transactions involving Public Joint Stock Company Transkapitalbank (TKB), or any entity in which TKB owns, that are ultimately destined for or originating from Afghanistan and prohibited by E.O. 14024, through March 18, 2023. Read more>>
    • General License 54A adds VEON Holdings B.V. to the license allowing for transactions ordinarily incident and necessary to the purchase or receipt of any debt or equity securities of VEON Ltd. that are prohibited by section 1(a)(i) of Executive Order (E.O.) 14071 as long as he debt or equity securities were issued prior to June 6, 2022. Read more>>
  • OFAC Updates 4 Russia-Related Frequently Asked Questions: On January 17, OFAC released updates to 4 Russia-related FAQs.
    • FAQ 982, which discusses investment in funds that hold debt or equity of a blocked Russian financial institution. Read more>>
    • FAQ 1054, which discusses how the new investment bans interact with transactions, particularly divestment transactions, of debt and equity securities issued by an entity in the Russian Federation. Read more>>
    • FAQ 1055, which discusses how new investment bans interact with investments in entities located outside of the Russian Federation. Read more>>
    • FAQ 1059, which describes prohibited services under the U.S. ban on the provision of certain services Russia. Read more>>
  • US Deputy Secretary of State and Other Officials Travel to Ukraine: US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, Principal Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer, and Under Secretary of Defense Dr. Colin H. Kahl traveled to Kyiv on January 16 to meet with President Zelenskyy and senior Ukrainian officials to reaffirm the US’s strong and steadfast commitment to Ukraine and its defense against Russia’s unprovoked aggression. Prior to the visit, the delegation made stops in Germany and Poland to review U.S. security assistance to Ukraine. While in Kyiv, the US officials also met with Prime Minister Shmyhal, Minister of Defense Oleksii Reznikov, Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov, and Ukrenergo CEO Volodymyr Kudrytskyi to discuss economic, security and energy-related matters. As part of the trip, the delegation heard from young Ukrainians who have adapted their businesses and advocacy to support their fellow citizens even as they look ahead to Ukraine’s recovery and reconstruction.Read more>> and Read more>>
  • US Secretary of State Blinken Calls Ukrainian Foreign Minister: On January 13, the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke today with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. The two focused on continuing robust security and economic assistance in the run-up to, and beyond, the first anniversary in February of Russia’s unprovoked full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The Secretary emphasized the US’ enduring and unflinching support for Ukraine, as underscored by recent provisions of advanced air defense equipment and armored vehicles from US stocks. Read more>>
  • USAID Announces Additional $125 Million in Urgent Energy Support for Ukraine: On January 18 at the World Economic Forum, Administrator Samantha Power announced the Administration's intent to work with Congress to provide $125 million to support the resilience of Ukraine’s energy and utility infrastructure in the face of the Russian Federation’s relentless, systematic attacks. Funding will be drawn from the 2023 Additional Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act passed in December. USAID will utilize the $125 million to procure vital equipment including additional gas turbines, high voltage autotransformers, distribution substation repair equipment, and backup power for Kyiv’s water supply and district heating services. Read more>> and Read more>>
  • Secretary of Defense, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Travel to Germany for Ukraine Defense Contact Group Meetings: Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III will travel to Ramstein Air Base, Germany, to conduct an in-person meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group on January 20. While there, Secretary Austin will be joined by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley. They will join ministers of defense and chiefs of defense from nearly 50 nations from around the world to discuss Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine, and the continued close coordination to provide the Ukrainian people with the means necessary to defend their sovereign territory.Read more>>
  • USAID and Bayer Partner to Supply Seeds to Ukrainian Farmers in Advance of the Planting Season: On January 19, USAID and Bayer announced a new donation of high-quality carrot seeds to Ukrainian farmers most in need. Bayer will make the donation as a partner in AGRI-Ukraine, which engages the private sector to bolster Ukraine’s export and agricultural sector needs. The first shipment is expected to supply up to 25,000 households and micro-farmers, with priority given to farmers in newly-liberated areas.Read more>>
  • US Secretary of State Blinken Shares Views on German Tanks: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken responded to press questions regarding Germany’s unwillingness to allow “tanks to be sent to Ukraine unless the US sends them first” during his joint press availably with UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly on January 17. On this, Secretary Blinken noted that “these are sovereign decisions for each country to make” and that it is important to also consider other actions Germany “has done to date” including sending infantry fighting vehicles and a Patriot missile battery. Read more>>
  • White House Responds to Possibility of Sending US Tanks to Ukraine: On January 19, with regards to sending US tanks to Ukraine, White House Deputy Press Secretary Olivia Dalton stated that he “[doesn’t] have any specific security assistance to announce” but noted that such discussions would be the focus at the Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting that Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin is attending on January 20. Read more>>

II. EU SANCTIONS

  • EU Parliament Pushes for Special Tribunal to Punish Russian Crimes: In a resolution, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) demand that Russian political and military leadership be held accountable for the crime of aggression against Ukraine. Read more>>
  • European Council President Charles Michel to Meet Zelenskyy: On January 19, 2023, the European Council president Charles Michel announced he was en route to Kyiv for meetings with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and members of his government. The Council chief added that he would be discussing with the Ukrainians “the concrete measures we can develop in order to make sure they are stronger and more powerful.Read more>>
  • Hungary's Mail-In Poll on Russia Sanctions Dismissed by Brussels: The European Commission has dismissed the results of a mail-in poll in Hungary that is being used by Victor Orbán's government to claim that most Hungarians are against EU sanctions on Russia, despite Hungary voting for the sanctions to be put in place. Read more>>
  • Hungary Looks to Remove Nine People from EU Sanctions List Imposed in Wake Or Russia Invasion of Ukraine: Hungary is threatening to water down the European Union's sanctions regime against Russia by insisting that nine people be removed from a list of restrictive measures imposed on more than 1,300 individuals and 170 entities during several rounds of action in the wake of Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.Read more>>
  • Some EU Member States Call for More EU Sanctions against Russia: Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine are calling for the European Union to pass its 10th sanctions package against Russia in February, including hitting Belarus with tougher punitive measures and Russia's nuclear sector. Read more>>
  • Calls to Put Antwerp's Russian Diamonds on EU Sanctions List: Almost a third of the diamonds for trade in Antwerp come from Russia. Rough diamonds remain an important source of income for the Russian war apparatus. Every year Russia is raking in approximately $4bn (€3.7bn) in revenues through the export of rough diamonds. Read more>>
  • Polish Food Smuggling to Kaliningrad Flourishing Despite Sanctions: The food smuggling business is thriving between Poland and the Kaliningrad Oblast as Russian citizens grow increasingly frustrated over the lack of access to Western products because of sanctions, according to Polish media reports.Read more>>
  • Commission Approves EUR 100 Million Austrian Measure to Reduce Electricity Consumption in the Context Of Russia's War against Ukraine: The European Commission has approved a EUR 100 million Austrian measure to reduce peak electricity consumption in Austria in the context of Russia's war against Ukraine. This is the first measure aimed at supporting electricity consumption reduction that the Commission has approved under the State aid Temporary Crisis Framework. Read more>>
  • Commission Approves EUR 44 Million Romanian Scheme to Support the Cattle Breeders Sector in the Context of Russia's War against Ukraine: The European Commission has approved a EUR 44 million (RON 217.7 million) Romanian scheme to support the cattle breeders sector in the context of the Russia's war against Ukraine. The scheme was approved under the State Aid State Temporary Crisis Framework. Read more>>
  • Commission Approves EUR 500,000 Cypriot Scheme to Support the Citrus Producers in the Context of Russia's War against Ukraine: The European Commission has approved a €500,000 Cypriot scheme to support the citrus production sector in the context of the Russia's war against Ukraine. The scheme was approved under the State Aid State Temporary Crisis Framework.Read more>>
  • Commission Approves Amendments to Italian Scheme, Including EUR 50 Million Budget Increase, to Further Support Companies in Lombardy in Context of Russia's War against Ukraine: The European Commission has found the amendments to an existing Italian scheme, including a €50 million budget increase, to support companies in Lombardy in the context of Russia's war against Ukraine to be in line with the State aid Temporary Crisis Framework.Read more>>
  • Nord Stream 2 Investor to Exit Russia: On January 17, 2023, Wintershall Dea, one of the main European investors in the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, has said it will exit Russia following criticism over its continued exploration and production of gas and oil in the country following the invasion of Ukraine. In a statement on Tuesday evening, Wintershall’s chief executive Mario Mehren said operations in Russia, where Wintershall derived roughly a fifth of its pre-tax profit in the past financial year, were no longer “tenable” nearly a year into the conflict. Citing “limitations” imposed by the Russian government on operations of western companies, as well as “external interferences in our joint venture operations”, Mehren said its Russian business had found itself under “economic expropriation”. Wintershall Dea’s announcement came minutes after its parent company BASF, the world’s largest chemicals company by revenues, announced a €7.3bn writedown caused largely by the deconsolidation of Wintershall Dea’s Russian business. Read more>>

III. UK SANCTIONS

  • UK’s Foreign Secretary James Cleverly Sanctioned by Russia: On January 16, 2023, it was reported that British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly was the latest minister to have been sanctioned by Moscow. Following the outbreak of the conflict in Ukraine last year, Moscow announced it was banning hundreds of U.K. politicians from entering Russia. It came in retaliation to U.K. sanctions against a raft of Russian politicians. Cleverly said: "I've been sanctioned by the Russian government. Good. If this is the price for supporting Ukrainian freedom, then I’m happy to be sanctioned #SlavaUkraini".Read more>>
  • PM Accelerates Ukraine Support Ahead of Anniversary of Putin’s War: On January 14, 2023, it was reported that Prime Minister Sunak is set to accelerate the UK’s diplomatic and military support to Ukraine in a bid to push Russia further back and secure a lasting peace. The Prime Minister had already committed to match or exceed the UK’s defence support for Ukraine in 2023 and he instructed ministers and officials this week to ensure the UK is being proactive as possible across the full spectrum of its support. Read more>>
  • Decision to Give Heavy Weaponry to Ukraine Sends "Clear Message" to Putin, Per Foreign Secretary: On January 16, 2023, British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said sending heavy weaponry to Ukraine, including tanks, because the nation needs to give Russian President Vladimir Putin a "really clear message” about international support for Kyiv. Cleverly said Putin should understand that Britain is going to have "the strategic endurance to stick" with Ukraine until "the job is done." He said support is constantly being reassessed by Ukraine’s partners and has evolved throughout the war, noting that “last year, we weren't talking about tanks, and we weren't talking about heavy artillery.Read more>>
  • MPs to Investigate Effectiveness and Impact of UK’s Trade Sanctions on Russia: On January 19, 2023, the UK Parliament’s International Trade Committee called for written evidence submissions for a new inquiry into the UK’s trade sanctions on Russia. In a new inquiry, the Committee will explore the role of the Department for International Trade (DIT) in developing, implementing and enforcing trade-related sanctions on Russia. MPs on the cross-party Committee will examine the interaction between DIT and other Government departments, including the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, the Home Office, HMRC and the Treasury, in enforcing sanctions on Russia. The Committee will also investigate the impact of trade-related sanctions on UK businesses, supply chains and consumers, and the effectiveness of the Government’s support and guidance. The inquiry will examine whether the UK’s trade policy and approach to international co-operation has mitigated the domestic impact of the sanctions. Experts, stakeholders and interested parties are encouraged to submit evidence to the inquiry by Friday March 17. Read more>>
  • UK Statement at the UN Security Council: On January 17, 2023, Ambassador James Kariuki spoke at the UN Security Council briefing on human rights and religious freedom in Ukraine. He discussed that the UK is committed to defending freedom of religion or belief around the world, a commitment “we share with Ukraine, whose democracy is well-known for its pluralism. We condemn the persecution of any group based on religion or belief. That’s why we hosted a conference in London last year, to urge increased global action to prevent violations and abuses of freedom of religion or belief. That’s why we condemn Russia’s campaign of persecution against communities in Ukraine and Russia based on their religion or belief.Read more>>
  • Goldman Sachs Continues to Manage UK Charity Set Up by Sanctioned Oligarch: On January 13, Bloomberg reported on the diverging response of JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs to the sanctions on richest Russian oligarch Vladimir Potanin. While JP Morgan opted to cut ties with the Potanin Foundation after he became sanctioned based on registry filings, Goldman has continued providing the London-based charity with banking and investment management services. A Goldman Sachs spokesperson said the firm “has taken steps to confirm that its relationship with the charity is in compliance with applicable sanctions.Read more>>

IV. RUSSIA/UKRAINE SANCTIONS

  • Ukraine Adds 198 Individuals and 1 Entity to Sanctions List: On January 15, 2023, Ukrainian President Zelenskyy signed a decree to impose sanctions on 198 Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian citizens for their alleged involvement in Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. Those designated face a number of personal restrictions, including assets freezes, restrictions on the withdrawal of capital from Ukraine, travel bans and the cancellation of visas, trade restrictions and a suspension of the performance of economic and financial obligations. This follows the designation of Latvia-based Royal Pay Europe on Thursday.Read more>>, Read more>> and Read more>>
  • Russia Imposes Entry Ban on EU Officials in Response to 9th Package of Sanctions: On January 17, 2023, the Russian foreign ministry said that in response to the EU’s ninth package of sanctions, Moscow has expanded its blacklist of EU officials who are barred from entering Russia. According to the ministry, Russia’s sanctions cover chiefs of EU law enforcement agencies which are involved in training Ukrainian troops within the framework of the EU mission to provide military assistance to Kiev. Additionally, sanctions were imposed against European state and commercial structures manufacturing weapons and military hardware and supplying them to Kiev, as well as against EU nationals indulging in systematic anti-Russian rhetoric in public. The blacklist also includes several European Parliament members, the ministry added. Read more>>
  • Russia Reroutes Arctic Oil to China and India as Result of EU Sanctions: EU sanctions against Russian oil are increasingly diverting Arctic crude oil – from the Prirazlomnoye platform and the Arctic Gate and Varandey terminals – to China and India with three vessels currently en route from Murmansk to China. For 2023, experts anticipate increasing oil exports to Asia via the Northern Sea Route.Read more>>
  • Western Banks Struggle to Exit Russia after Putin Intervention: On January 16, 2023, it was reported that advisers to western banks trying to exit Russia say a law introduced by Vladimir Putin is disrupting sales and allowing deals to be hijacked by businesspeople close to the Kremlin. Putin last year said foreign owners from “unfriendly” countries could not complete deals without his approval. The list of affected companies includes 45 banks with subsidiaries in Russia. They predict already agreed sale prices to fall by up to half as the Kremlin exerts more influence on deals. They say would-be buyers who were originally beaten to deals have gained presidential approval and are attempting to hijack sales from rivals who lack the Kremlin’s favor.Read more>>
  • Ukrainian Soccer Club CEO Discusses the Challenges of Playing During Wartime: On January 17, 2023, Ukrainian soccer club Shakhtar Donetsk launched a $25 million project to support the defenders of Mariupol and their families. The "Heart of Azovstal" initiative comes after the club sold star player Mykhailo Mudryk to English Premier League side Chelsea. Azovstal is a reference to the massive steelworks plant in Mariupol, where Ukrainians held off Russian forces during a monthlong siege last year until they were eventually forced to evacuate. "The money will be used to cover different needs – from providing medical and prosthetic treatment and psychological support to meeting specific requests,” Shakhtar president Rinat Akhmetov said. The club will receive a Ukrainian record-breaking transfer fee of $75 million for 22-year-old Mudryk with an additional $35 million expected as a bonus payment, the club said in a statement Sunday. Read more>>
  • Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal Speaks at Recovery Conference in London: Denys Shmyhal emphasized that Ukraine expects that the next Ukraine Recovery Conference in London will help mobilize international support for rapid recovery. Ukraine proposes 4 main sources of financing for the Recovery Plan: 1) confiscated Russian funds in Ukraine and across the world, 2) funds from international partners, including international financial organizations, 3) funds directly from the state budget of Ukraine, 4) funds from donors and the private sector. Read more>>
  • Minister of Economy of Ukraine Yuliia Svyrydenko Visits World Economic Forum in Davos: Yuliia Svyrydenko emphasized that Ukraine looks forward to discussing the necessary steps for integration into the European Single Market, harmonization of Ukrainian legislation with the EU system and starting membership negotiations. At the meeting with the Director-General of the World Trade Organization Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Ms Svyrydenko stated that Ukraine's top priorities are a fully functioning WTO dispute settlement system, revitalization of the negotiating function, increased transparency, stricter notification requirements under WTO agreements, and responding to current challenges of multilateral trade. Read more>>
  • Ukrainian Government Announces Decision to Join EU Program Aimed at Integration to the Single Market: The EU "Single Market" program is a financial support program of the EU with a budget of 4.2 billion euros, which is designed for 7 years - from 2021 to 2027. "Ukraine's accession to the specified Program will allow us to strengthen cooperation with the EU, which is especially relevant in view of the European integration processes and Ukraine's acquisition of the status of a candidate for the EU," said Minister of Economy Yuliya Svyridenko. The program should contribute to simplifying access to markets, creating a favorable business environment, business development and growth, ensuring the competitiveness and stability of companies and entire sectors of the economy. Read more>>
  • Ukraine Receives First 3 Billion Euros of Macro-Financial Assistance from EU: Ukraine received the first tranche of macro-financial assistance from the European Union in the amount of 3 billion euros on Tuesday, January 17. The total amount of assistance is 18 billion euros. Future payments to Ukraine in the amount of 1.5 billion euros per month will continue from March. These will depend on meeting the agreed conditions, as well as continued compliance with the reporting requirements.Read more>>
  • Firms Headquartered in EU and G7 Continue to Operate in Russia: New research from University of St.Gallen challenges the narrative that there is a vast exodus of Western firms leaving the market. In effect, many firms headquartered in the EU and G7 have resisted pressures from governments, the media, and NGOs to leave Russia since the invasion of Ukraine. The research team found that that less than 9% of the Western companies present in Russia had divested at least one subsidiary in Russia. These divestment rates barely changed during the fourth quarter of 2022.Read more>>
  • Raiffeisen Bank Group Admits That Its Russian Subsidiary Provides Benefits to Mobilized Russians: The bank emphasized that it "strictly complies with all the requirements of the current legislation of Austria and the EU, which recognize the territorial, political and economic integrity of Ukraine." The financial institution assures that neither independently nor through its subsidiaries does business "on the territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, as well as the Crimean peninsula." A subsidiary bank in Russia, the RBI says, is a separate legal entity and must operate "in accordance with applicable Russian legislation, including preferential terms." It is about providing "credit holidays" for Russians mobilized for the war against Ukraine. Read more>>
  • Sberbank Begins Operations in Crimea: Sberbank ATMs appeared in Crimea, and offices will open in large cities in the first half of the year, the bank said. Sanctions that prevented entering the peninsula since 2014 are no longer an obstacle. Calls for Sberbank to start working in Crimea have been made repeatedly since 2014, after the peninsula was annexed by Russia, but Sberbank did not open offices in new regions due to fears of sanctions.Read more>>
  • Putin Bill on Termination of Council of Europe Treaties for Russia: Russia withdrew from the Council of Europe in March last year, explaining this by "abuses" on the part of the EU and NATO states. The list of treaties to be terminated includes the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism, etc.Read more>>
  • Russia Blocks Entry to EU and New Zealand Officials and Journalists: In response to the ninth package of EU restrictions on Russia, the Russian Foreign Ministry banned the entry of a certain EU officials, members of Parliament and the representatives of major military commercial structures. Russia has also barred 31 New Zealand citizens from entering the country, including former Defense Minister Ron Stanley Mark, Ukraine's Honorary Consul in Auckland Oleksandr Kirichuk, and Maori Development Minister William Gunnin Ormsby, as well as certain employees of mass media. The Russian Foreign Ministry emphasized that given New Zealand appears to intend continuing its anti-Russian policy and introduce new sanctions, “work on updating the Russian stop-list will continue.Read more>>, Read more>> and Read more>>

V. OTHER NOTABLE DEVELOPMENTS

  • Analysts See Link between Rising Indian Oil Product Exports to US: The Wire reported on January 16 that India has become among the biggest importers of Russian crude oil, with Russia accounting for 25% of the country’s crude purchases, and now the US has emerged as the biggest purchaser of refined oil products from India. The report stated that US companies are purchasing it from Reliance Energy and Nayara Energy, in India, which prepare the virgin gas oil (VGO) from Russian crude oil. The US is buying 200,000 bpd of finished products, primarily VGO, from Reliance.Read more>>
  • Russian Oil Shipped to Asia in Chinese Supertankers Amid Ship Shortage: On January 13, Reuters reported that at least four Chinese-owned supertankers are shipping Russian Urals crude to China, according to trading sources and tracking data, as Moscow seeks vessels for exports after a G7 oil price cap restricted the use of Western cargo services and insurance. China, the world's top oil importer, has continued buying Russian oil despite Western sanctions, after Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping launched what they called a no-limit partnership before the war in Ukraine.Read more>>
  • South Africa Hosts Russian Navy for Military Exercises after Allowing Sanctioned Russian Vessel to Dock in Port: On January 13, The Globe and Mail reported that Russian warships are scheduled to join South African and Chinese ships in a joint military exercise, code-named Mosi (“smoke”), from February 17 to 26. In addition to hosting the Russian warships, South Africa will also welcome a high-level Russian delegation in August 2023 at the annual BRICS summit – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, of which President Vladimir Putin will be invited. This comes following US criticism of South Africa allowing a sanctioned Russian vessel to dock in December 2022, to which the South African government responded to negatively.Read more>>
  • Canada Summons Russian Ambassador over Attacks on Civilians in Ukraine: Reuters reported on January 18 that Canada has summoned Russia's ambassador to Ottawa over attacks against civilians in the Ukrainian city of Dnipro that killed at least 45 people, including several children. Officials had summoned the ambassador to "make clear we do not accept the sheer brutality of Russia's recent attacks against civilians in Dnipro," Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly told reporters in Toronto.Read more>>
  • Japan to Roll Out Plans to Back Ukraine at “Appropriate Time”, U.S. Official Says: On January 17, 2023, White House Indo-Pacific coordinator Kurt Campbell said Japan is engaged deeply on issues in Ukraine and is expected to roll out plans at the "appropriate time" to support Kyiv against Russia's invasion. U.S. President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met last week when Kishida was in Washington on the last stop in a tour of the G7 industrial powers. Kishida last week stressed the importance of standing up to Russia's invasion, saying that if a unilateral change to the status quo went unchallenged, the same would happen elsewhere, including in Asia - an apparent reference to China's vow to reunite with self-ruled Taiwan, by force if necessary.Read more>>
  • Russian Oil Being Mixed in Singapore and Then Re-Exported: On January 19, Bloomberg reported that according to sources, Singaporean storage tank space is in demand for blending of Russian fuel, obscouring the cargoes’ origins. This comes after a jump in Russian fuel arrivals in Singapore, which has yet to ban the import of Russian oil or petroleum products, although financial institutions based in the island state are prohibited from financing or dealing with Russian goods and companies.Read more>>