The EU has added 6 companies to the Ukraine-related asset freeze list based on their involvement in the construction of the Kerch Bridge, connecting Russia to the Crimean peninsula.
On 31 July 2018, Regulation 2018/1072 was published by the EU,1 adding 1 Crimean and 5 Russian entities to the list of parties subject to an asset freeze. The EU considers these entities were actively involved in the construction of the Kerch Bridge (or the railway or roads leading to the bridge) and therefore undermined the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine. The EU considers the construction of this bridge as a key symbolic step in consolidating Russia’s control over the illegally annexed Crimea and Sevastopol, and further isolating the peninsula from Ukraine.
The newly designated parties, effective 31 July 2018, are:
- AO "Institute Giprostroymost — Saint-Petersburg";
- PJSC Mostotrest;
- JSC Zaliv Shipyard;
- Stroygazmontazh Corporation (SGM Group), owned by Mr. Arkady Rotenberg, who has previously been designated for his actions undermining Ukrainian sovereignty;
- Stroygazmontazh Most OOO, also owned by Mr. Arkady Rotenberg; and
- CJSC VAD.
This brings the total number of parties listed by the EU for undermining the independence of Ukraine to 44 entities and 155 individuals.
Under the asset freeze, all funds and economic resources belonging to or controlled by the listed parties that fall under EU jurisdiction must be frozen. Furthermore, no funds or economic resources (in the broad sense) may be made available – directly or indirectly – to or for the benefit of the listed persons by parties falling under EU jurisdiction.
In 2014, the EU sanctions imposed sanctions against Russia following its annexation of Crimea. As well as the asset freeze, it imposed broad restrictions on trade and investment in Crimea, and restrictions on certain dealings with eleven Russian banks and defence and energy companies, and on certain supplies to Russia.2