By Kharon Staff
March 17, 2022
This week, the European Union, United Kingdom, United States and Canada separately announced a new set of complementary, yet distinct, sanctions against Russian oligarchs and new trade restrictions in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
- The EU announced the designation of 15 individuals and nine entities, including Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich, banker German Khan, Konstantin Lvovich Ernst, the CEO of Russia’s state-run Channel One TV, and Marina Sechina, the former wife of Rosnet head Igor Sechin. Read the EU sanctions press release
- The EU also announced a prohibition on transactions with some Russian state-owned enterprises linked to the military and defense sector, a broad ban on new investments in the Russian energy sector, and a moratorium on the import of Russian steel and the export to Russia of luxury items, including automobiles, jewelry and designer products. The EU Commission said in a statement that the new sanctions included “a far-reaching ban on new investment across the Russian energy sector with limited exceptions for civil nuclear energy and the transport of certain energy products back to the EU." Read the EU sectoral measures press release
- The U.K. Government stripped Russia and Belarus of their most favored nation trading status, and announced new sanctions against oligarchs and a 35% tariff against imports of Russian vodka, steel, art and fur. Read the U.K. press release
- On March 15, the U.S. government announced additional sanctions against the president of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, his wife, and a number of Russian government officials, including 11 Russian defense and military leaders. The U.S. measures included the designation of Alexander Mikheev, the Director General of Rosoboronexport, Russia’s state-owned intermediary for the export and import of defense-related goods, products, technologies and services. Read the State and Treasury Departments’ press releases.
- The Canadian government also sanctioned 15 Russian government and military officials this week, a number of whom were sanctioned by the EU late last month. The new designations bring the total number of individuals and entities sanctioned by Canada since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to nearly 500. Read the Canada sanctions announcement
Why This Matters: With this latest set of actions, western governments have demonstrated an increased appetite to continue sanctioning the Russian government, its supporters and their assets in light of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
Over the past month, the U.K., U.S. and EU have designated more than 1,000 Russian individuals and entities, including government officials, banks, businesses, and oligarchs. Global enterprises have additional exposure to thousands of other entities that are not listed on a sanctions list, though may be majority-owned by listed sanctioned entities, thereby sanctioned-by-law under the OFAC 50 Percent Rule or the EU and U.K. equivalent.
- Sanctioned Russian officials, state-owned enterprises, businesses, and oligarchs control global holdings and investments around the world, often through shell companies or close family members and business associates. These present a dynamic sanctions-related exposure risk to the networks of entities and individuals subject to sanctions.
- This week, the governments of Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, France, Japan, U.K. and U.S. agreed to launch the Russian Elites, Proxies, and Oligarchs (REPO) task force to increase multilateral cooperation in identifying and seizing the assets of sanctioned Russian individuals and entities. This information sharing initiative will go beyond the task force members and include assistance to countries who may have sanctioned assets within their jurisdictions. Read the task force press release
Expanded Risk in Focus: Among the individuals sanctioned by the U.K. government this week – and the EU the week prior – is Russian businessman Alexander Semenovich Vinokurov, the son-in-law of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
- Alexander Vinokurova is a Russian businessman with interests in food retail, pharmaceutical, and other industries around the world. Vinokurova is a majority shareholder of Marathon Group, a major Russian food retail company that is registered in Cyprus with subsidiaries in Europe.