US Sanctions | EU Sanctions | UK Sanctions | Russia/Ukraine Sanctions | Other Notable Developments

I. US SANCTIONS

  • OFAC Designates Russia and Balkans-Related Individuals and Entities and Issues Russia and Balkans-Related General Licenses: On November 16, the Department of the Treasury designated several individuals and entities pursuant to Executive Orders 14033 and 14024 to circumvent Russia’s continued use of its influence in the Western Balkans to stymie the region’s integration into international institutions and organizations, as well as leverage key jurisdictions to facilitate its aggressive destabilizing activities. The Department of Treasury also issued several general licenses related to these designations, including "Authorizing Limited Safety and Environmental Transactions Involving Certain Persons or Vessels"; "Authorizing the Wind Down of Transactions Involving Orka Holding AD"; and "Authorizing Certain Transactions Related to Agricultural Commodities, Medicine, Medical Devices, Replacement Parts and Components, Software Updates, or Medical Prevention, Diagnosis, or Treatment, or Clinical Trials Involving Orka Holding AD."Read more >>
  • OFAC Designates Virtual Currency Money Launderer for Russian Elites and Cybercriminals: On November 3, the Department of the Treasury sanctioned Ekaterina Zhdanova, a Russian national, for her role in laundering and moving funds using virtual currency on behalf of Russian elites. Read more >>
  • OFAC Hardens Sanctions with 130 New Russian Evasion and Military-Industrial Targets: On November 2, the Department of the Treasury imposed sanctions to disrupt the networks and channels through which Russia attempts to sustain its beleaguered military. These sanctions focus on individuals and entities abetting Russia’s unconscionable war against Ukraine by providing Russia with much-needed technology and equipment from third countries. Additionally, these actions take aim at Russia’s domestic industrial base, which is seeking to reinvent itself as the maintainer of Russia’s war machine. Read more >>
  • Department of State Designates Russia’s Military Officials Due to Involvement in Gross Violations of Human Rights against Civilians in Ukraine: On November 20, 2023, the Department of State designated two Russian military officials due to their involvement in gross violations of human rights in Ukraine. As a result of the designation, the military officials and their families are ineligible for entry into the US. Read more >>
  • US Department of the Treasury Announced Largest Settlements in History with Binance for Violations of US Anti-Money Laundering and Sanctions Laws: On November 21, the US Treasury Department announced that it settled with Binance, the world’s largest virtual currency exchange, through the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and the Office of Foreign Assets Control, for violations of the Bank Secrecy Act and apparent violations of multiple sanctions programs. The violations included failure to implement programs to prevent and report suspicious transactions with terrorists — including Hamas’ Al-Qassam Brigades, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Al Qaeda, and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria — ransomware attackers, money launderers, and other criminals, as well as matching trades between US users and those in sanctioned jurisdictions like Iran, North Korea, Syria, and the Crimea region of Ukraine. Read more >>
  • US Announces New Package of Military Aid to Ukraine: On November 20, the US Department of State announced a new package of weapons and equipment to support the people of Ukraine as they defend their country and their freedom against Russia’s aggression. This package provides up to $100 million of arms and equipment authorized under previously directed drawdowns for Ukraine. Read more >> 
  • Departments of Treasury and Justice Participate in Russian Elites, Proxies, and Oligarchs (REPO) Task Force Deputies Meeting: On November 7, Treasury Deputy Secretary, Wally Adeyemo, and Deputy Attorney General, Lisa O. Monaco, convened the REPO Task Force Deputies to coordinate lines of effort to ensure that Russia bears the legal consequences of its internationally wrongful acts. The meeting convened experts across the US government and international community to explore all possible avenues to aid Ukraine – consistent with respective legal systems and international law – and to ensure Ukraine is compensated for the loss, injury and damage resulting from Russia’s full-scale aggression. Read more >> 
  • Department of Justice Arrests Four and Charges Multiple Russian Nationals in Connection with Two Schemes to Evade Sanctions and Send US Technology Used in Weapons Systems to Russia: On November 1, the Department of Justice arrested four individuals and unsealed an indictment and criminal complaint regarding two separate conspiracies to unlawfully export controlled, dual-use technologies to Russia following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Read more >> 
  • Deputy Assistant Attorney General Delivers Keynote Remarks that Highlight Russia Sanctions: On November 16, the Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Eun Young Choi, delivered keynote remarks at the GIR Live: Sanctions & Anti-Money Laundering Meeting. The remarks highlighted the Treasury Department’s Task Force KleptoCapture, noting the task force has seized more than $500 million in oligarch assets and has charged more than 40 individuals, many of whom have been arrested in more than a half dozen countries. Read more >> 
  • The Department of State and the Department of Justice Issue Statements on US Funds to International Centre for the Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression against Ukraine: On November 14, the State and Justice Departments issued statements that the United States will provide $1 million to the International Centre for the Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression Against Ukraine, which was established in The Hague at Eurojust with the support of the European Commission. Read more >> and Read more >> 
  • US Secretary of State Co-Hosted Meeting of G7 and other Key Partners on Ukraine Energy Sector Support: On November 8, the US Secretary of State, Anthony J. Blinken co-hosted with Japanese State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Iwao Horii, the fourth Foreign Ministers meeting of G7 and other key partners to reaffirm the collective support for the repair and defense of Ukraine’s energy sector, as Ukraine faces ongoing Russian attacks aimed to damage Ukraine’s critical infrastructure. Read more >>

II. EU SANCTIONS

  • EU's General Court Dismissed Several Actions against EU Sanctions: On November 8, the General Court dismissed several actions, including those brought by Dmitry Mazepin, the owner and CEO of Uralchem, a Russian manufacturer of a wide range of chemical products, including ammonium nitrate and ammonia and nitrogen fertilizers; Bremino-Grupp, a limited liability company under Belarusian law, and one of its co-owners, Alexander Zaytsev; Mikalai Varabei, co-owner of Bremino-Grupp; OT, a large shareholder of Alfa Group, which includes Alfa Bank; and German Khan, one of the main shareholders of Alfa Group. Read more >>,Read more >>,Read more >> andRead more >>
  • EU's General Court Decided That EU Sanctions on Alexander Dmitrievich Pumpyanskiy Should Be Lifted: On November 29, the General Court ruled that sanctions against Alexander Pumpyanskiy, son of Dmitry Pumpyanskiy, should be lifted since it could not be established that at the time of adoption of the acts maintaining the listing, Alexander Pumpyanskiy was associated with his father given the change in his individual situation. The General Court held that the only association remaining with his father consisted in family links, which are insufficient to justify a listing under EU sanctions, and that past functions are not sufficient to establish continued support for the Government of Russia. Read more >>
  • European Commission Updated Its Russia Sanctions FAQs on Russian Central Bank: On 31 October, the European Commission updated its FAQ regarding Article 5a(4) of Council Regulation (EU) No 833/2014. Read more >>
  • Proposals for 12th Package of Sanctions Against Russia: On November 15, the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs, together with the European Commission, submitted to the Council a proposal for the 12th package of sanctions. The package proposes to sanction over 120 additional individuals and entities for their role in undermining sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and to adopt new import and export bans, as well as actions to tighten the oil price cap and to counter circumvention of EU sanctions. Read more >>
  • EU Set to Introduce New Sanctions on Diamonds and Tighten Oil Price Cap: New EU sanctions against Russia under the 12th package of sanctions are expected to introduce a ban on Russian diamonds and to tighten other measures, such as the oil price cap. In contrast to the US, EU has not yet banned Russian diamonds, in large part due to Belgium’s bid to protect the Antwerp diamond trade. Belgium has now worked with the European Commission and the G7 to move forward with a ban that also tackles sanctions circumvention. The ban would apply from January 2024, but there would be a gradual phase-in of an indirect import ban on Russian-processed diamonds in non-EU countries, as there is more technical work to do to set up the traceability mechanism at the G7 level. The draft proposals would also introduce tougher reporting requirements designed to prevent Russian oil bought in violation of existing sanctions from being sold on with falsified receipts. Read more >>
  • European Aluminum Welcomes Potential EU Sanctions on Imports of Aluminum from Russia: European Aluminum organization welcomed the European Commission’s proposed 12th package of sanctions against Russia, which would include a ban on the importation of certain aluminum products, such wires, tubes and pipes, as well as aluminum foil. The organization urged the EU to adopt a much more rapid and expansive approach to the restriction of Russian aluminum imports. The proposed list included in the package covers only 12% of EU imports of aluminium products (HS 76) from Russia, not nearly enough to have a meaningful impact in practice. Read more >>
  • EU Wants to Sanction Russians Who Profited from Carlsberg, Adidas Seizures: It has been reported on November 23, that Russians who seized parts of European companies after Russia's invasion of Ukraine would be sanctioned under unofficial proposals put forward by the European Commission. The EU would be able to target people or bodies “benefiting from the compulsory transfer of ownership or control over entities established in Russia, which were previously owned or controlled by Union persons,” according to the text not yet published. Read more >>
  • European Parliament Adopts a Resolution on the Effectiveness of the EU Sanctions on Russia: On November 9, the European Parliament adopted a resolution alarming over existing loopholes in the EU’s sanctions regime against Russia. With the resolution pointing to Russia’s ability to circumvent measures, such as the price cap on oil sanctions introduced by EU member states and the so-called Price Cap Coalition, it also notes that EU imports of petroleum products made with Russian oil from countries such as India have soared. MEPs also highlight how critical Western components still find their way to Russia via countries like China, Türkiye, the United Arab Emirates, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Serbia. MEPs call on the EU and its member states to reinforce and centralise EU-level oversight of sanctions implementation and to develop a mechanism for circumvention prevention and monitoring. They also call on the EU to strengthen coordination on the enforcement of existing sanctions on Russian oil exports and to impose sanctions on all the major Russian oil companies, Gazprombank, their subsidiaries and their boards and management. Read more >>
  • European Commission's Position on Circumvention of Sanctions against Russia by Third Countries in the Timber Trade: On November 15, the European Commission asserted that it is aware of possible circumvention attempts of EU sanctions on Russian timber and recalled that on August 22, 2023, it initiated an investigation concerning alleged circumvention practices of the anti-dumping measures in force concerning birch plywood originating in Russia, by imports of birch plywood consigned from Türkiye and Kazakhstan. The initiation of this investigation follows a duly substantiated request from European producers alleging possible transshipment and false declaration of origin for the Russian birch plywood imported to the EU via Kazakhstan and Türkiye. Read more >> andRead more >>
  • Cyprus Confidential Investigation into Russian Sanctions Evasions: An investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists revealed that Russians oligarchs were using Cyprus to avoid EU's sanctions against Russia and hiding their money there. Leaked documents suggest that one of the world’s biggest accountancy firms, PwC Cyprus, has allegedly helped Russia’s oligarch Alexey Mordashov attempt to transfer over $1 billion investment out of his name in a bid to avoid EU sanctions. The Cypriot Ministry of Finance asserts that a criminal investigation is underwayRead more >>
  • France Arrests Russian Oligarch Suspected of Violating EU Sanctions: On October 30, French police detained Russian billionaire oligarch Alexei Kuzmichev, a co-founder of Russian finance consortium Alfa Group, in an investigation into money laundering, tax fraud and violations of international sanctions. As part of a preliminary probe by France’s anti-corruption office, the French police carried out multiple searches at several locations in France, including Kuzmichev’s property in Paris. At the time of the arrest, it was unclear what sanctions Mr. Kuzmichev is suspected of violating. Read more >>
  • Dutch Court Sentences Russian Citizen for Breach of EU Sanctions: On October 31, the Rotterdam District Court sentenced a Russian citizen to 18 months in jail and a €200,000 fine for breaching EU sanctions in 2022 by supplying dual-use microchips and drones to Russia. According to the court, K.’s company ordered the sanctioned goods on behalf of the Russian companies, often filing a fictional Ukrainian company in his end-user statements. After verifying the completeness and functionality of the electronic goods, the defendant filed false commercial invoices with a Maldivian company as the official client, with the goods subsequently being re-exported to Russia. Read more >>
  • EU Approves Using Profits from Frozen Russian Assets: On October 27, EU leaders endorsed unprecedented plans to use profits generated by frozen Russian state assets for Ukraine reconstruction and called on the European Commission to make legal proposals to that effect. Of around $300 billion of Russian foreign reserves frozen by countries participating in sanctions at the onset of Moscow's war on Ukraine, the majority — more than €200 billion — sit in the EU. Read more >>
  • Bulgaria Accelerates End of Sanctions Loophole That Earned Russia €1 Billion: Bulgaria will end its exemption from the EU's ban on Russian seaborne crude oil imports six months earlier than planned after it was found that Bulgaria was letting millions of barrels of Moscow’s oil reach a Russian-owned refinery on its territory, which then exported various refined fuels abroad including to EU countries. The government said it will now end that exemption on March 1 instead of a previous, self-imposed October 31 deadline. Read more >>
  • EU Ports Help Sell on Over 20% of LNG Imports from Russia: More than a fifth of Russia’s liquefied natural gas reaching Europe is reshipped to other parts of the world, a practice that boosts Moscow’s revenues despite the EU’s efforts to curb them in response to the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. While contracts for so-called transshipment of Russian LNG have been banned in the UK and the Netherlands, data from 2023 suggests permitted Russian gas shipments are routinely transferred between tankers in Belgium, France and Spain before being exported to buyers in other continents. Unlike coal and oil, Russian gas has not been placed under sanctions by the EU, but the European Commission has said member states should rid themselves of Russian fossil fuels by 2027Read more >>
  • European Union Responses and US-EU Relations on Russia’s War against Ukraine: The Congressional Research Service report issued on November 20, affirmed that strains on EU solidarity, including a dispute over EU imports of Ukrainian grain and a delay in approving new EU funding, could pose challenges to future cooperation on Ukraine, as could possible US “donor fatigue” and political divisions. The report highlighted also the Biden Administration committed to help the EU reduce its dependency on Russian gas, in part by boosting LNG shipments to the EU. Read more >>
  • Council Greenlights Further Funding for Training of the Ukrainian Armed Forces: On November 28, the Council decided to provide additional funding for training of the Ukrainian Armed Forces under the European Union Military Assistance Mission in support of Ukraine (EUMAM Ukraine). The financial amount is increased by €194 million totalling €255 million. Read more >> andRead more >>
  • The Czech Government Approved the Freezing of Russian State Assets: The Czech government approved the freezing of Russian state assets in the country, said the head of the Czech Foreign Ministry Jan Lipavsky. The government of the country approved the inclusion of the Russian state-owned company Roszagransobstvennost on the national sanctions list. Financial accounts if the company and its property will be blocked. Read more >>
  • Denmark Could Block Russian Oil Tankers from Reaching Markets: Denmark will be given the task of inspecting and potentially blocking tankers of Russian oil sailing through its waters under new EU plans, as western powers scramble to enforce a price cap the Kremlin has learned to avoid. All of Russia’s oil shipped through the Baltic Sea, roughly 60 per cent of its total seaborne oil exports, crosses the narrow Danish straits on its way to international marketsRead more >>

III. UK SANCTIONS

  • OFSI Successfully Defends First Court Review: On November 28, 2023, OFSI published a blog on its successful defence of a legal challenge against its decision to refuse to grant certain licence requests to UK assets freeze target. OFSI stated that it will “robustly defend baseless challenges against its decisions and ensure financial sanctions are implemented to support the objectives of the Russia sanctions regime and applicable licensing grounds”. By way of background, on October 26, 2023, the High Court handed down its judgment rejecting a legal challenge by Mikhail Fridman against OFSI’s decision to refuse him certain licence requests. Mr Fridman had argued that OFSI was wrong to refuse certain licence requests made under the prior obligations, basic needs and routine holding and maintenance licensing grounds in respect of his primary residence in the UK. However, Mr Justice Saini dismissed the claim on all grounds. Read more >>
  • OFSI Amends General Licence for Correspondent Banking Payments: On November 24, 2023, OFSI amended General Licence INT/2023/3566356 which authorises certain correspondent banking payments. The amendment extends the expiry date of the general licence to 14 December 2023. Read more >>
  • UK ECJU Publishes New Version of Strategic Export Controls Guidance: On November 21, 2023, the UK Export Control Joint Unit published a new version of its guidance on strategic export controls. Among other things, the guidance explains what control lists are, who must comply with export controls and when, how to apply for an export licence and the penalties for non-compliance. Read more >>
  • FCDO and OFSI Issue Joint Guidance on Ownership and Control: On November 17, 2023, the FCDO and OFSI published a joint guidance note on the applicability of the ownership and control test in relation to public officials. Following the recent Mints case, the guidance provides helpful clarity, including that “the UK government does not consider that President Putin exercises indirect or de facto control over all entities in the Russian economy merely by virtue of his occupation of the Russian Presidency.” On November 21, 2023, a webinar featuring Daniel Drake (Deputy Director, Sanctions Directorate, FCDO) and Bethany Davies (Deputy Director, OFSI), among others, was held to discuss the recent court cases in Mints and Litasco v. Der Mond and the recently issued UK Government guidance on ownership and control. A full recording of the webinar is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Tl7Q3rCGv0Read more >>
  • UK High Court Casts Doubt over Mints Case: On November 15, 2023, the UK High Court handed down summary judgment in Litasco v. Der Mond[2023] EWHC 2866 (Comm). In respect of a submission that President Putin controlled Litasco, Foxton J commented [at paragraph 70]: “I believe the better interpretation of Regulation 7(4) is that it is concerned with an existing influence of a designated person over a relevant affair of the company […], not a state of affairs which a designated person is in a position to bring about. Were matters otherwise, it would follow that President Putin was arguably in control, for Regulation 7(4) purposes, of companies of whose existence he was wholly ignorant, and whose affairs were conducted on a routine basis without any thought of him.” Read more >>
  • OFSI Blog Reflects on OFAC-OFSI Enhanced Partnership: On November 15, 2023, OFSI published a blog post reflecting on the first year of its formal enhanced partnership with OFAC following a technical exchange in London in October 2023. Among other things, the blog post reflected on regular exchanges between OFSI and OFAC throughout the past year, the publication of joint industry guidance by OFSI and OFAC and a commitment to ongoing collaboration from both the United Kingdom and the United States to ensure the implementation of “robust, cutting-edge financial sanctions”. Read more >>
  • UK Government Amends General Licence for Arbitration Costs under the Russia Sanctions: On November 13, 2023, OFSI amended General Licence INT/2022/1552576 - London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) Arbitration Costs to remove the schedule of arbitration costs, and change the definition of arbitration costs to reflect the relevant Schedule of Costs for LCIA arbitration. Read more >>
  • OFSI Amends General Licence Relating to Russian Travel: On November 10, 2023, OFSI amended General Licence INT/2022/1839676 relating to Russian Travel. The amendment clarifies that the general licence only permits the purchase of tickets from a designated person specified in the licence or one of their subsidiaries for passenger rail or passenger air journeys originating in, or within, Russia. Read more >>
  • NCA Warns of Abuse of Gold to Evade Sanctions: On November 8, 2023, the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) issued a red alert to financial institutions, promoting awareness and bringing about preventative action related to the use of gold to evade sanctions, outlining inter alia: (i) the relevant sanctions measures; (ii) a summary of common circumvention techniques; (iii) certain indicators of sanctions circumvention; and (iv) industry guidance from other organisations. Read more >> andRead more >>
  • UK Court Refuses Interim Payment for EuroChem’s Benefit from SG and ING in Sanctions Defence Case: On November 3, 2023, the UK High Court handed down judgment rejecting an application by LLC EuroChem North-West-2 (EuroChem) for Société Générale (SG) and ING Bank (ING) to make a payment into court or into a frozen account in the UK or EU. Eurochem’s claim, due to go to trial in 2025, is for money Eurochem says is owed by SG and ING under on-demand bonds. SG and ING refused to make the payments on the basis that that would be prohibited under EU sanctions as implemented in France and Italy respectively (i.e., the place of performance of the bonds). EuroChem is associated with Andrey Melnichenko, who is designated by the EU and the UK. Butcher J rejected EuroChem’s application for a payment into the court or into a frozen account, because he could not say at this stage that the sanctions defence was bound to fail. The risk of SG and ING not paying the judgment sum (if EuroChem were to be successful) was not sufficient to order the interim payment; it was doubtful SG and ING would refuse to honour an English judgment, and even if they did, they have very substantial operations in the UK and the judgment could be enforced against assets in the UK. Read more >>
  • UK Court Refuses Summary Judgment in UK Sanctions Case: A UK County Court refused to grant summary judgment in a dispute between XTX Markets Technologies Ltd and Mazars. XTX, a financial technology trading company, alleged that Mazars, which was contracted to provide payroll services, acted in a discriminatory way by refusing to provide services based on the Russian nationality of its (non-sanctioned) owner (who has since revoked his Russian citizenship). Mazars refused to provide services because they had taken the decision not to accept any new clients with Russian ownership. XTX allege breach of the Equality Act 2010. In its defence, Mazars stated that XTX were not treated less favourably than a real or hypothetical comparator, and relied on s. 44 of SAMLA, i.e., a belief that Mazars was acting in the reasonable belief of complying with UK sanctions. The County Court held that there were triable issues which means that the case should go to a full trial. The context of the UK’s sanctions and the Russia Regulations are “front and centre to the issues in this case”, and the following were triable issues: the interpretation of Mazars’ email rejecting the invitation to provide services, the correct comparator, and the s. 44 defence. Read more >>
  • UK Government Amends Sanctions List under Russia Regime: 
    • On 30 November 2023, the UK amended the entry for Mihajlo Perencevic under the Russia sanctions regime. The individual remains subject to an asset freeze, trust services sanctions and travel ban. Read more >>
    • On 15 November 2023, the UK Government updated the entry for Irina Anatolievna Kostenko on the UK sanctions list. The individual remains subject to an asset freeze and trust services sanctions. Read more >>
    • On 10 November 2023, the UK amended the entry for Vadym Oleksandrovich Tregub under the Russia sanctions regime. This individual remains subject to an asset freeze, transport sanctions and a travel ban. Read more >>
    • On 9 November 2023, the UK delisted Sergey Stognienko from the UK sanctions list. Mr Stognienko had been designated in September 2022 for being a member of the Bank Otkritie management board which carries on business in the Russian financial services sector. Read more >>
    • On 8 November 2023, the UK announced 29 new sanctions designations targeting individuals and entities operating in and supporting Russia’s gold, oil, and strategic sectors. The new designations include: a UAE-based network which allegedly channels gold revenues to Russia (including Paloma Precious DMCC and Howard Jon Baker) and two of Russia’s largest gold producers (Nord Gold PLC and Highland Gold Mining Ltd). Read more >>

IV. RUSSIA/UKRAINE SANCTIONS

  • Cyprus Invites Foreign Experts to Help with Russia Sanctions Evasion Investigation: On November 20, 2023 The president of Cyprus, Nikos Christodoulides, announced that he had asked an unnamed country to send an experienced team of financial crime experts to help Cyprus investigate allegations that Cypriot financial service providers had helped Russian oligarchs circumvent international sanctions. Read more >>
  • Ukraine Receives New EUR 1.5 Billion Tranche of Financial Support from EU: On November 22, 2023, the European Union released a new €1.5 billion tranche of macro-financial assistance to Ukraine, as European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, announced on social media. Read more >> and Read more >>
  • Germany Pledges a Further EUR 1.3 Billion to Ukraine in Military Aid: On November 20, 2023, German Defense Minister, Boris Pistorius, announced that Germany had pledged to provide another substantial financial package to Ukraine in a bid to support its war efforts. Read more >> and Read more >>
  • Russia Reportedly Summons Czech Charge D'affaires over Asset Freeze: On November 18, 2023, Russia's Foreign Ministry claimed it had summoned the Czech Republic's temporary charge d'affaires in Russia over the Czech Republic’s decision to freeze Russian state-owned properties. On November 15 the Czech Government announced it had frozen Russian state-owned properties on its territory, a move which the Kremlin said was illegal. Read more >> and Read more >>
  • The President of Russia Added 5 Russian Companies to the List of Assets Temporarily Managed by the Russian Authorities: The Decree of the President of Russia No. 888 was signed and entered into force on 22 November 2023. It adds 5 Russian companies (Prime Print Moscow, Prime Print Ekaterinburg, Prime Print Novosibirsk, Prime Print Chelyabinsk, Prime Print Voronezh) owned by Amedia Eastern Europe AS to the list of organizations managed by Russian authorities. The companies will be managed by the Government of Moscow. The same mechanism was used earlier this year to put Russian subsidiaries of Uniper, Fortum, Danone and Heineken under the management of the Russian Government. Read more >>
  • The Russian Government Adopted the Rules of Designation of Companies as Economically Significant and Compensation to Foreign Holdings for Suspension of Their Corporate Rights in Such Companies: The Government of the Russian Federation has approved the rules for designation of Russian companies as economically significant organizations and paying compensation to foreign holdings during the period of suspension of their rights in relation to such companies. The compensation is payable if part of the shares in economically significant organizations has not been allocated to new shareholders during the change from indirect to direct ownership. According to the rules, the decision on compensation is made by the holding’s subsidiary company, the rights to which have been suspended, upon application of the foreign holding. The size of the payment depends on the amount of shares of the applicant and their market value. Read more >> and Read more >>
  • The President of Russia Signed the Decree on Exchange of the Blocked Assets of Russian Citizens: The Decree No. 844 was signed and entered into force on 8 November 2023. The document introduces the possibility for Russian residents to sell blocked foreign securities to non-residents who have funds in type C accounts. The total value of such assets should not exceed 100 thousand roubles for one portfolio. Foreign securities that will participate in the transaction must be accounted for in the National Settlement Depository (NSD) accounts opened with foreign organizations. Read more >>
  • The Russian Parliament Adopted the Law Easing the Consequences of Termination of the Treaties on the Avoidance of Double Taxation: The Law No. 539-FZ was published and entered into force on 27 November 2023. Among other changes to the tax system, the law introduces tax exemptions or reduced tax rates for certain types of income paid to foreign companies in order to offset the consequences of the suspension of the provisions of international treaties on the avoidance of double taxation. Read more >>
  • The President of Russia Signed the Decree Limiting the Mandatory Disclosure of Information: The Decree No. 903 was signed and entered into force on 27 November 2023. It allows the companies on the list to independently determine the composition and volume of information to be disclosed starting from 1 July 2023. The companies will have to send undisclosed information to the Russian Central Bank. The list of covered companies includes 46 names. The Russian Central Bank by its separate Regulation has earlier extended the permission for Russian banks not to disclose “sanction risk sensitive” information until the end of 2024 (the measure was first introduced in 2022). Read more >>
  • Russia Lost 76 Passenger Aircraft Due to Sanctions: According to the head of the Ministry of Transport of Russia, Vitaly Savelyev, Russia has lost 76 passenger aircraft due to Western sanctions. “We were taken by surprise by the decision to take away the planes; in total, we lost 76 passenger aircraft that were on technical storage, serviced abroad, or were about to operate some flights. They were simply arrested,” said the Minister. Read more >>
  • A Draft Law on the Transfer of Assets from Russia to Ukraine Was Sent to the Estonian Parliament: The Constitutional Commission of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) supported and sent for the first reading a bill that would allow the use of frozen Russian assets to compensate for the damage caused to Ukraine by military actions. The bill allows the assets of people and companies that authorities believe contributed to Russia's actions in Ukraine to be used "as a down payment for damages." If the bill is adopted, Estonia will become the first EU country to legalize the confiscation of Russian assets. Read more >>
  • EU Ports Help Sell on over 20% of LNG Imports from Russia: More than a fifth of Russia’s liquefied natural gas reaching Europe is reshipped to other parts of the world, a practice that boosts Moscow’s revenues despite the EU’s efforts to curb them in response to the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Data from 2023 suggests permitted Russian gas shipments are routinely transferred between tankers in Belgium, France and Spain before being exported to buyers in other continents. Read more >>
  • Ukraine Imposed New Sanctions against 255 Individuals and 349 Legal Entities: During November, Ukraine imposed new sanctions against 349 legal entities and 255 individuals (see the Orders of the President of Ukraine No. 739/2023, 758/2023, 759/2023, 772/2023, 773/2023). Besides, the Orders of the President of Ukraine No. 762/2023 imposes additional sectoral sanctions against Russia and Belarus in the sphere of military industry. The sectoral sanctions include the ban on dealing in dua-use and military goods with the residents of Russian and Belarus and payments in sauch transactions, ban on the transfer of technology, termination of joint projects and programs in military sphere where one of the participants is a resident of Russian and Belarus, ban on investments, etc. Read more >>
  • Ukraine Updated the Lists of the International Sponsors of War: In November, Ukraine excluded the British company Mondi and Greek companies Minerva Marine, Thenamaris and TMS Tankers from the list of international sponsors of war following the cease of their business in Russia. At the same time, Ukraine included the German company Knauf, the Danish company Rockwool and the Belgian company Fluxys into the list for conducting business and paying taxes in Russia. Read more >>

V. OTHER NOTABLE DEVELOPMENTS

  • Australia Adopts Further Export Sanctions against Russia: On October 25, Australia published two new designations which introduced new goods export sanctions for Russia; including sanctions on inter changeable tools for hand tools or machine-tools, including dies for drawing or extruding metal, and rock drilling or earth boring tools; nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances (and parts thereof); and electrical machinery and equipment, sound recorders and reproducers, and television image and sound recorders and reproducers (and parts/accessories thereof). Read more >>
  • Canada Amends Its Special Economic Measures Russia Regulations: On November 9, Canada further amended its Special Economic Measures Russia Regulations to nine individuals and six entities to Schedule 1 of the Regulations, who are subject to a broad dealings ban. The individuals have actively disseminated Russian disinformation and propaganda about the ongoing invasion of Ukraine, stretching back to the invasion and illegal occupation of Crimea. The entities are arms-length and state-owned-entities that host and support various platforms used for disseminating Russian disinformation. Read more >>
  • US and Japan Agree to Continue Russia Sanctions: On November 16, Japan’s Prime Minister, Kishida Fumio, met with US President, Joe Biden. The leaders exchanged views on regional issues, including Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and concurred on continuing severe sanctions against Russia. Read more >> 
  • Moldova Joins EU Sanctions against Russia: On November 24, 2023, Moldova decided to join EU sanctions against Russia as Moldova’s parliament agreed to abide by the punitive measures as part of measures to alter its legislation as required for its bid to join the European Union. Read more >> 
  • Switzerland’s President Pledges More Support for Ukraine in Kyiv Visit: On November 25, Switzerland President, Alain Berset, pledged his long-term support for Ukraine in a meeting with his President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. Switzerland has previously said it has frozen some 7.5 billion Swiss francs ($8.5 billion) in Russian assets. Read more >> 
  • EU and Canada Agree to Intensify Cooperation on Sanctions Against Russia: On November 25, 2023, after a meeting held in Canada, the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, President of the European Council, Charles Michel, and President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, agreed to intensify cooperation on sanctions against Russia and confirmed their intention to continue supporting Ukraine. Read more >> 
  • UAE Banks Have Tightened Control over Compliance with Sanctions against Russia: Banks in the United Arab Emirates have tightened control over the accounts of Russian companies due to increased pressure from the United States on compliance with international sanctions. UAE banks have begun to require additional documentation from Russians and sometimes block accounts, asking for justification for the transfer or information about the origin of the funds. Some large Russian companies are looking for alternatives to banks in the Emirates. Read more >>