The European Union announced its intention to adopt a broad package of trade and economic sanctions against Russia, targeting access to EU capital markets, defence exports, energy related equipment and technology and sensitive technology on 29 July. The regulation adopting these measures was published today (31 July 2014) and can be viewed here. As was widely expected, the measures limit access to EU capital markets for Russian State-owned financial institutions, establish an export ban for dual use goods for military end users and curtail Russian access to sensitive technologies particularly in the field of the oil sector. These measures in some ways mirror and in other ways differ from the US sanctions imposed recently (please see our OnPoint dated 17 July 2014 for a description of the U.S. sanctions).
Following the introduction today of Council Regulation (EU) No 833/2014, the following restrictive measures will enter into force:
- A prohibition on buying, selling or otherwise dealing with transferable securities and money-market instruments (with a maturity of more than 90 days) issued after 1 August 2014 by Sberbank, VTB Bank, Gazprombank, Vnesheconombank (“VEB”) or Rosselkhozbank (the entities listed in Annex III to Council Regulation (EU) No 833/2014). The prohibition extends to any entity or body established outside the Union which is more than 50 percent owned by any of those institutions (European subsidiaries are not included) and to any legal person, entity or body acting at their direction or on their behalf. Services related to the issuing of such securities and instruments, such as brokering, are also prohibited.
- “Transferable securities” includes shares and other equivalent securities, bonds or other forms of securitised debt, depositary receipts in respect of shares and bonds, and any other securities giving the right to acquire or sell any such transferable securities issued after 1 August 2014.
- “Money-market instruments” includes treasury bills, certificates of deposit and commercial papers issued after 1 August 2014.
- A prohibition on exports of dual-use goods and technology for military use in Russia or to Russian military end-users. The prohibition covers all items in the EU list of dual-use goods (see latest list in the Annex to Council Regulation (EC) No 428/2009).
- Exports of certain energy-related equipment and technology to Russia (or any other country if such equipment or technology is for use in Russia) will require prior authorisation by the competent authorities of Member States. Prohibited technologies are listed in Annex II to Regulation No 833/2014 Competent authorities will not grant export licenses for products related to deep water oil exploration and production, arctic oil exploration and production, or shale oil projects in Russia.
- A prohibition on the, direct or indirect, provision of technical assistance, financing or financial assistance related to the goods and technology listed in the Common Military List (to a Russian person or entity or for use in Russia) and to dual-use goods and technology (to Russian military end-users or for military use in Russia). Brokering services in respect of dual-use goods and technology are also prohibited.
The above measures apply to EU nationals, companies and to "any legal person, entity or body in respect of any business done in whole or in part within the Union."
Crimea and Sevastopol
In addition, the Coreper meeting of 28 July agreed on trade and investment restrictions for Crimea and Sevastopol. Following the adoption of Council Regulation (EU) No 825/2014 on 30 July, the new restrictions comprise a ban on any new investment in infrastructure projects in Crimea and Sevastopol in the:
- transport, telecommunications and energy sectors; and
- in relation to the exploitation of oil, gas and mineral resources.
The sale, supply, transfer or export of key technology and equipment for the same six sectors to Crimea and Sevastopol is prohibited. There is also a prohibition on the provision of technical assistance and financial and insurance services related to such transactions. A full list of the mineral resources and key equipment and technology targeted by the new measures is available to view here.
Note that the prohibition on the supply of key equipment and technology will not apply to the execution, until 28 October 2014, of transactions required by a trade contract concluded before 30 July 2014 or by ancillary contracts necessary for the execution of such contracts, provided that the person or entity seeking to engage in such transactions has notified the competent authority of the relevant Member State at least 10 working days in advance.
Further, the granting of a financial loan or credit and the extension of a participation or the creation of a joint venture in relation to the above sectors will not be prohibited where the transaction is required by an agreement or contract concluded before 30 July 2014 and the competent authority has been informed at least 10 working days in advance.