International sanctions against russia due to the invasion of Ukraine

After the russian invasion of Ukraine, the United States of America and its allies introduced a series of economic sanctions against russia, individuals, and legal entities that are considered to be involved in the invasion or its support. US sanctions, in particular, were among the most significant and large-scale, which had a serious impact on the russian economy and the world financial situation.

Types of sanctions applied to russia

US sanctions against russia were imposed through a combination of executive orders signed by the President and legislation passed by Congress. Some of the key elements of US sanctions related to russia’s invasion of Ukraine include asset freezes, travel bans, restrictions on certain types of business activities, and the designation of individuals and entities as “Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons”, (hereinafter – SDN).

An asset freeze is one of the most common types of US sanctions, which stipulates freezing the assets of individuals and entities believed to be involved in or supporting an invasion. This means that any assets they have within US jurisdiction are blocked and will not be accessible. The US has frozen the assets of many russian individuals and entities through executive orders and other measures.

Travel bans are another common type of US sanctions that prohibit entry into  US individuals believed to be involved in or supporting an invasion.

The US also introduced restrictions on certain types of business activities with russia, including the export of certain goods and technologies. These restrictions are intended to limit russia’s ability to carry out further destabilizing activities and prevent US companies from inadvertently providing support to the russian government or its supporters.

One of the most significant aspects of the imposed sanctions is that the US has designated many individuals and legal entities as SDN. This means they are prohibited from doing business with US companies or individuals, effectively isolating them from the US financial system. Designating individuals and entities as SDNs can have a significant impact on their ability to do business worldwide and can be a powerful pressure tool against those involved in or supporting an intrusion.

The US has worked closely with its allies to coordinate sanctions efforts and encouraged other countries to adopt similar measures. For example, the US has worked closely with the European Union to coordinate sanctions lists and ensure that they target the same individuals and entities. This coordinated approach helped to maximize the impact of sanctions and ensure their effectiveness in achieving their goals.

It is worth noting that the specific individuals and legal entities subject to US sanctions in connection with the russian invasion of Ukraine may change over time as new information becomes available. The US government regularly reviews and updates its sanctions lists to ensure they remain current and effective.

In addition to US sanctions, the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN) have also imposed sanctions against russia, individuals, and legal entities considered involved in the invasion of Ukraine.

The EU has also imposed a number of sanctions against russia, including asset freezes, travel bans, and economic sanctions. These sanctions are similar to those imposed by the United States, but also include restrictions on imports and exports with russia, restrictions on access to European capital markets. In addition, the EU introduced sanctions against individuals and legal entities suspected of involvement in the invasion of Ukraine, in particular by freezing their assets and restricting their movement.

The UN, in turn, introduced sanctions against russia related to the invasion of Ukraine, primarily due to Security Council resolutions. These sanctions include asset freezes, travel bans, and arms embargoes, as well as restrictions on certain business activities with russia. The UN has also identified individuals and entities involved in or supporting the invasion, including by freezing their assets and restricting their movement.

Thus, the US, EU, and UN sanctions related to the russian invasion of Ukraine represent a significant attempt to hold russia accountable for its actions and deter future destabilizing activities. While the impact of the sanctions on russia’s behavior is open to debate, there is no doubt that they have had a serious impact on the russian economy and global financial condition and have sent a clear signal to russia and other countries that the international community will not tolerate such actions.

At the same time, the issue of applying sanctions contains many controversial issues:

  • What is the US asset freeze jurisdiction?
  • Are the beneficial owners of legal entities from the relevant lists sub-sanctioned?
  • Whether the entire group of companies related to the control role is responsible for the actions of sanctioned persons, etc.

Therefore, to avoid potential complications in business activities with counterparties, we recommend paying special attention to sanctions compliance.

If you have any questions regarding the functioning of your business during martial law, please contact GOLAW specialists and we will provide qualified legal assistance.

Pavlo Loginov

Pavlo Loginov

Partner, Head of Antitrust and Competition practice, Attorney at law

Practices | Sectors

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