The EU in recent days has added new names to its sanctions list. The latest additions include Russian President Putin’s deputy chief of staff, Vyacheslav Volodin, and Vladimir Shamanov, the commander of the paratroop unit that allegedly took part, despite Russian denials, in the annexation of Crimea.
Also added were a number of Crimean companies: One is Chernomorneftegaz, a Crimean gas company; another is Feodosia, a Crimean oil supplier.
Volodin, but not Shamanov, and Chernomorneftegaz, but not Feodosia, are on the U.S. sanctions list. Differences like these suggest incoherence and, at the least, create compliance challenges for multinationals.
Being on a U.S. or EU sanctions list means that the assets of the listed person are frozen and dealings with them by those subject to U.S. or EU jurisdiction are prohibited.
Whether these sanctions will deter further Russian involvement in the Ukrainian crisis is anyone’s guess. The reluctance to impose so-called sectoral sanctions, that is, prohibitions on dealings with anyone in a given sector like oil and gas, exposes concerns about the doubleedged sword of sanctions: They truly cut both ways.
Individuated sanctions are, nonetheless, a headache for companies subject to U.S. and EU law because of the broad-based shadow lists of those subject to sanctions under the U.S. rule freezing the assets of any company that is 50% or more owned by a designated person and the EU rule freezing any assets “controlled by” a designated person.
Shadowing the shadow list means that simple screening of listed persons is not enough.