Today, the President declared a national emergency with regard to the situation in Ukraine. The President issued an Executive Order authorizing the United States to sanction certain parties undermining democratic processes in Ukraine, asserting control in the Crimean region without the Government of Ukraine’s authorization and contributing to the misappropriation of Ukraine’s assets.

Any parties designated under the Executive Order are subject to blocking and are barred from entering the United States. The Executive Order authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to designate parties determined to:

  • be responsible for, or complicit in, actions or policies that undermine the democratic processes or institutions in Ukraine; actions or policies that threaten the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine; or misappropriation of state assets of Ukraine or of an economically significant entity in Ukraine;
  • have asserted government authority over any part of Ukraine, without authority from the Government of Ukraine;
  • be a leader of an entity that has, or whose members have, engaged in any of the foregoing activities;
  • be a leader of an entity whose property is blocked pursuant to the Order;
  • have materially assisted, sponsored or supported – financially, technologically, or otherwise – any of the foregoing activities or parties; or
  • be owned or controlled, or to have acted or purported to act on behalf of, any party whose property is blocked pursuant to the Order.

The President did not designate any parties directly in the Order. As of the date of this alert, the Secretary of the Treasury has not yet designated anyone under the Order. Until the Secretary of the Treasury designates parties under the Order, it will remain largely symbolic. The U.S. Government undoubtedly hopes that the threat of designating key Russian officials will have a deterrent effect in and of itself.