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Thomas McGuire

Thomas McGuire is a trainee solicitor in Covingon & Burling’s London Office.

He received a B.A. from The University of Sheffield and a M.A. from King's College London.

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On 23 June 2023, the Council of the European Union (the “Council”) adopted a new package of economic sanctions against Russia. In addition to new asset-freezing designations, this eleventh package of sanctions includes new trade, transport and financial restrictive measures.

In recent weeks the UK has implemented various amendments to its existing sanctions regimes targeting Russia and Belarus, including the expansion of the UK’s Belarus-related sanctions regime to include certain restrictions previously introduced with respect to Russia and restrictions on the provision by UK persons of certain legal services.  The UK has also amended a number of General Licenses applicable to these two sanctions regimes and introduced new General Licenses, and updated aspects of its sanctions-related guidance, as detailed below.

Summary of New EU Russia Sanctions

Asset-freezing Designations

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2023/1216 designates additional individuals and entities to the EU asset-freezing list. The new designations include Russian government and military officials as well as Russian IT companies and the two Russian banks, MRB Bank and CMR Bank, which operate in the non-government controlled Ukrainian territories of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia.

Council Regulation (EU) 2023/1215 broadens the listing criteria upon which specific designations can be made under EU sanctions against Russia, to include, inter alia, the significant frustration of EU sanctions as a basis for designation. The regulation also introduces new derogations, including a derogation for the winding down of a Russian joint venture co-owned with the designated individual Alexey Alexandrovits Mordashov as well as a derogation allowing the disposal of certain types of securities held with specified listed entities.Continue Reading EU and UK Adopt New Sanctions Against Russia

On June 23, 2022, the UK introduced a series of further trade restrictions in relation to Russia, including in connection with certain security-related goods and technology, iron and steel products, communications interception and monitoring services, jet fuel and fuel additives, UK or EU currency banknotes and a broad category of “revenue generating goods” which includes a range of items used by various industries. The UK supplemented these measures with additional asset-freezing sanctions on June 29.

This alert summarizes these new sanctions measures and touches upon further recent UK sanctions developments, including proposals for further restrictions on the import of gold into the UK and Russian access to UK trusts services.

New Trade Restrictions

The Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) (Amendment) (No. 10) Regulations 2022 further amended the UK’s Russia sanctions Regulations (the “UK-Russia Regulations”) to introduce the new trade restrictions outlined, which came into force on June 23, 2022.Continue Reading UK Introduces Further Sanctions Measures Relating to Russia

On June 6 and June 9, 2022, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) issued additional guidance on the sanctions that prohibit U.S. persons from making a “new investment” in Russia and from providing accounting, trust and corporate formation, and management consulting services to any person located in Russia.

Separately, from June 15, 2022, the UK Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (“OFSI”) gained new powers to impose financial penalties for breaches of UK sanctions regulations (including, but not limited to, the UK sanctions regulations with respect to Russia) on a strict liability basis and to publish reports of cases where it is satisfied that a breach of financial sanctions has occurred but where no penalty is imposed.

This alert summarizes these new sanctions developments.

New U.S. Sanctions Developments

Guidance on the Prohibitions on “New Investment” by U.S. Persons in Russia

On June 6, 2022, OFAC issued guidance in the form of responses to new frequently asked questions (“FAQs”) to clarify certain aspects of the prohibitions on “new investment” in Russia by U.S. persons that were imposed under the following executive orders (“E.O.s”):

  • E.O. 14066, issued on March 8, 2022 (prohibiting new investment by U.S. persons in the energy sector of the Russian Federation, as described in our March 10 alert); 
  • E.O. 14068, issued on March 11, 2022 (prohibiting new investment by U.S. persons in any sector of the Russian Federation economy as may be determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State); and 
  • E.O. 14071, issued on April 6, 2022 (prohibiting “all new investment in the Russian Federation by U.S. persons, wherever located” as well as “any approval, financing, facilitation, or guarantee by a U.S. person, wherever located, of a transaction by a foreign person where the transaction by that foreign person would be prohibited by E.O. 14071 if performed by a U.S. person or within the United States,” as described in our April 11 alert.

Continue Reading Recent Developments in U.S. and UK Sanctions: OFAC Guidance on “New Investment” and Prohibition on the Provision of Certain Services to Any Person in Russia; UK Sanctions Enforcement Developments