Sanctions Weekly Update – Ukraine/Russia Conflict – May 1, 2023 … – Mondaq News Alerts

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Week ofMay 1, 2023


  • U.S. Announces Additional Security Assistance to
    On May 3, the Biden administration announced that
    it had authorizing the 37th drawdown of U.S. arms and
    equipment for Ukraine, valued at $300 million. This security
    assistance package includes additional ammunition for High Mobility
    Artillery Rocket Systems, howitzers, artillery and tank ammunition,
    anti-tank weapons, rockets, small arms and ammunition, trucks and
    trailers to transport heavy equipment, and spare parts and other
    field equipment.Read more>>andRead more>>
  • State Department Leads Joint Statement against IOC
    Recommendations regarding Russian/Belarusian Athletes:
    May 4, the U.S. Department of State’s Assistant Secretary of
    State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, together with the
    ministers of sport or equivalent counterparts of Ukraine allies,
    published a joint statement in response to the International
    Olympic Committee (IOC)’s recommendations published on March
    28, 2023, regarding the conditions for Russian/Belarusian athletes
    and support personnel who are individually neutral to participate
    in international sports competitions. The officials maintained that
    Russia, which has broken the Olympic Truce twice, must not be
    allowed to use sport to legitimize its invasion of Ukraine, and
    highlighted outstanding concerns such as military connections of
    athletes, state funding, definition of what constitutes teams, and
    enforcement mechanisms.Read more>>
  • U.S. Presses for Release of Journalist in Russia on
    World Press Freedom Day 2023:
    On May 3, on the occasion of
    World Press Freedom Day 2023, the Biden administration, among other
    things, once again called for the immediate release of Evan
    Gershkovich, a Wall Street Journal reporter detained in
    Russia for espionage charges. The Biden administration reiterated
    that it is dedicated to protecting press freedom at home as well as
    promoting it worldwide.Read more>>andRead more>>
  • Department of State Announces Reward Offers for Russian
    On May 3, the Department of State announced
    a reward offer of up to $10 million for information leading to the
    arrest and/or conviction of Russian cybercriminal Denis
    Gennadievich Kulkov, as well as a second reward offer of up to $1
    million for information leading to the identification of key
    leaders of the Try2Check transnational organized crime group.
    Try2Check is a popular credit card checking services in the
    cybercrime underworld which facilitated huge losses through credit
    card fraud each year; and Kulkov, its founder, was charged with
    access device fraud, computer intrusion and money laundering.Read more>>andRead more>>
  • Department of State Releases 2023 Annual Report on
    International Parental Child Abduction:
    On May 2, the
    Department of State submitted to Congress its 2023 Annual Report on
    International Child Abduction, which cited 14 countries, including
    Russia, as demonstrating a pattern of noncompliance to the Hague
    Abduction Convention. The Department vows to continue to actively
    work with all countries that are parties to the Convention to
    encourage them to take more effective measures in resolving
    international child abduction cases.Read more>>


  • EU Commission Issues Guidance Note on Ensuring Food
    Security through the Implementation of Firewalls:
    The EU
    Commission published a guidance note detailing safeguards to
    prevent designated persons from exercising control over the
    non-designated EU entity so they can continue business operations
    in the trade in agricultural and food product while keeping the
    funds and economic resources owned by the designated person
    frozen.Read more>>
  • EU Commission Presents Plan to Extend Its Sanctions
    Regime to Target Foreign Nationals for Corruption
    The EU High Representative supported by the EU
    Commission presented a proposal, to establish a dedicated Common
    Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) sanctions regime to target
    serious acts of corruption worldwide.Read more>>
  • EU Adopts a New Sanctions Framework to Target Actions
    Aimed at Destabilising Moldova:
    The Council adopted a new
    framework for targeted restrictive measures which provides the EU
    with the possibility of imposing sanctions against persons
    responsible for supporting or implementing actions which undermine
    or threaten the sovereignty and independence of the Republic of
    Moldova, as well as the country’s democracy, the rule of law,
    stability, or security.Read more>>
  • EU Aims to Target Nations through Which Russia Evades
    The European Union is discussing a new
    sanctions mechanism to target third countries it believes
    aren’t doing enough to prevent Russia from evading sanctions,
    particularly those that can’t explain spikes in trade of key
    goods or technologies.Read more>>
  • Bulgarian Government Investigated over Russia Sanctions
    The Bulgarian government is being
    investigated for how it has implemented EU sanctions against
    Russia.Read more>>
  • Czech Republic Imposes Sanctions on Patriarch Kirill
    for Supporting Russian Invasion of Ukraine:
    The Czech
    government has imposed sanctions on Patriarch Kirill, the head of
    the Russian Orthodox Church, for his support of Russia’s
    invasion of Ukraine. Kirill’s inclusion on the national
    sanctions list means that any assets he has in Czechia will be
    frozen, he is barred from entering the country, and cannot
    undertake any financial transactions there.Read more>>
  • German ECJ Reference on Whether Notary Services
    Infringe EU Russia Sanctions ‘Legal Services
    The Berlin Regional Court has made a
    request in Case C-109/23 to the European Court of Justice for a
    preliminary ruling on the EU’s restrictions on the provision of
    legal services to entities established in Russia in Article 5n(2)
    of Council Regulation (EU) No 833/2014.Read more>>
  • EU Justice Commissioner in Cyprus over
    Didier Reynders, the EU Justice Commissioner
    arrived in Nicosia on Thursday on a two-day visit to discuss with
    the island’s officials the enforcement of European Union
    sanctions on individuals and companies with ties to the Kremlin.Read more>>
  • Commission Adopts Exceptional and Temporary Preventive
    Measures on Limited Imports from Ukraine:
    The European
    Commission has today adopted exceptional and temporary preventive
    measures on imports of a limited number of products from Ukraine
    under the exceptional safeguard of the Autonomous Trade Measures
    Regulation.Read more>>
  • Russian Spy Network Smuggles Sensitive EU Tech Despite
    A Russian spy network has acquired sensitive
    technology from EU companies to fuel Vladimir Putin’s war in
    Ukraine even after a US-led crackdown on the covert smuggling ring
    according to the Financial Times.Read more>>
  • Russian Tycoon Timchenko Tells Court Close Putin Ties
    Don’t Mean He Supports Ukraine War:
    billionaire Gennady Timchenko, in a legal move to challenge EU
    sanctions imposed on him over Russia’s aggression against
    Ukraine, says his close ties with President Vladimir Putin do not
    mean that he is allied with the Kremlin in its policy on Ukraine.Read more>>
  • Germany Raids Russian’s Superyacht in Sanctions
    German authorities raided a luxury yacht belonging
    to a wealthy Russian businessman as part of a probe into possible
    breaches of Western sanctions imposed over Russia’s invasion of
    Ukraine.Read more>>
  • Western Sanctions Harm Russian Aviation with Technical
    Issues, Emergency Landings, and Pricey Tickets:
    There are
    more technical problems and emergency landings due to an acute lack
    of parts, maintenance and technical support. Passengers fly more
    and more unsafely while ticket prices have increased between 15 and
    30 percent.Read more>>


  • Despite War, Sanctions, Russians in London Commercial
    Courts Reach New Record:
    On May 4, 2023, the annual
    Commercial Courts Report showed that a record number of Russians
    have appeared in London’s Commercial Courts during 2022,
    despite the war in Ukraine and global sanctions, while the number
    of Ukrainian litigants sank to zero. The number of Russian
    litigants in Commercial Court judgments jumped by 41% to 58 in the
    year to March 2023, second only to 441 British litigants. The
    report compiled data from 257 judgments, documenting amongst other
    things 38 Russian individuals and 19 companies listed in the
    judgments, including a case involving sanctioned Bank Otkritie and
    the founder of the Museum of Russian Impressionism, Boris Mints.Read more>>
  • General Licence INT/2022/1710676 Amended: On
    May 4, 2023, OFSI amended General Licence (GL) INT/2022/1710676
    under regulation 64 of the Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations
    2019 in relation to Evraz plc. The GL amended the definition of the
    North American Subsidiaries, to clarify that Evraz North America
    plc; Evraz Inc. NA; and Evraz Inc. NA – Canada, and their
    subsidiary companies, are covered by the GL. Under the GL a Person
    may continue business operations involving the North American
    Subsidiaries including, but not limited to:

    • Payments to or from the North American Subsidiaries under any
      obligations or contracts;
    • Payments to or from any third party under any obligations or
      contracts; and
    • Receipt of payments made by the North American Subsidiaries for
      audit services.Read more>>
  • UK General Licence for Russia & Belarus Legal Fees
    On April 28. 2023, OFSI issued a new General
    Licence (GL) INT/2023/2954852 under Regulation 64 of the Russia
    (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 and Regulation 32 of the
    Republic of Belarus (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019.
    Replacing expired GL INT/2022/2252300, the new GL INT/2023/2954852
    authorises until 28 October 2023 the payment of legal fees by
    people and entities designated under the Russia or Belarus
    sanctions regimes to law firms and counsel. In summary the payment
    for legal services is now authorised in relation to any matter,
    except a claim for defamation or malicious falsehood. Like the
    previous version of the licence, the GL distinguishes between legal
    services commenced ‘pre-designation’ (Part A) and legal
    services commenced ‘post-designation’ (Part B).

    • There is a £500,000 (inc. VAT) cap on the amount that can
      be claimed for legal work carried out in satisfaction of a prior
      obligation (e.g. where a law firm or barrister is engaged before
      the designation of the person / entity), and a cap of 5% of the
      legal fees (or £25,000) on expenses associated with the
      provision of legal services.
    • There is a cap of £500,000 (inc. VAT) on overall fees for
      legal work started post-designation and a cap of 5% of the legal
      fees (or £25,000) on expenses associated with the provision
      of legal services. The hourly rate charged by a ‘Legal
      Advisor’ must not exceed those set out in the GL, and the
      hourly rate for counsel must not exceed £1,500 (including

The GL also permits the two legal
fees caps to be combined, subject to the terms of the licence being
met. Professional legal fees and expenses for cases involving
defamation or malicious falsehood are not permitted to be paid
under the GL.Read more>>andRead more>>

  • OFSI Issues New General Licence
    On April 27, 2023, OFSI issued a new
    General Licence (GL) INT/2022/1679676 under Regulation 21 of the
    Global Anti-Corruption Sanctions Regulations 2021 and Regulation 64
    of the Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019. Under the GL
    an officer of a Non-Crown Relevant Organisation is permitted to
    carry out their duties including through making use of powers
    available to them under UK legislation or common law for Asset
    Recovery Purposes. The GL also permits persons to carry out any
    action necessary to comply with or otherwise give effect to any of
    the following for asset recovery purposes: (i) a negotiated
    settlement to which a Relevant Organisation is a party; or (ii) an
    approved deferred prosecution agreement to which a Crown Relevant
    Organisation is a party.Read more>>andRead more>>


  • Ukraine’s Anti-Corruption Agency Designates
    Hungary’s OTP Bank an “International Sponsor of
    The decision was made due to the bank’s
    continued operations in Russia and adherence to a credit law
    directly referring to the proxy regimes in Russian-occupied Donetsk
    and Luhansk oblasts. OTP Bank is Hungary’s largest commercial
    bank and one of the largest in Central and Eastern Europe.Read more>>
  • Russian Billionaires Line Up to Buy Yandex: On
    May 4, 2023, it was reported several Russian billionaires are vying
    to buy the majority stake in the domestic entity of splintered tech
    giant Yandex. Russian sanctions have forced Yandex, once the crown
    jewel of Russia’s tech sector, to split into two new companies:
    one overseeing its operations in Russia and a second
    Amsterdam-based firm that will focus on new technologies for the
    international market.Read more>>
  • Russia Projected to Start Purchasing Chinese Yuan for
    Its Foreign Reserves:
    On May 4, 2023, it was reported that
    Russia will start to purchase Chinese yuan for its international
    reserves. Analysts project that the purchases will be small and
    symbolic in the beginning and will demonstrate a turnaround in the
    Russian economy. The purchase of these funds in Chinese yuan will
    help the country to keep piling up its reserves, which had been cut
    by the seizures of more than $300 billion in assets as a result of
    Western sanctions.Read more>>
  • Zelensky Criticizes Idea of ‘Hybrid’ Tribunal
    During Speech at the Hague:
    Zelensky said the world
    should not refer to the shortcomings of the current
    international law but make bold decisions
    ” that would
    correct them in order to receive “full” justice,
    citing the Nuremberg trials as a precedent. “This is
    exactly what the creators of Nuremberg did, and this is what we
    should do now. It would be a weakness for Europe and for us and for
    all nations to leave justice to history
    ” Zelensky
    added.Read more>>
  • Zelensky: ‘We Didn’t Attack Putin or
    President Volodymyr Zelensky denied
    Russia’s claims that the Kremlin residence of Russian President
    Vladimir Putin was targeted by two Ukrainian drones overnight on
    May 3. “We do not attack Putin or Moscow. We are fighting
    on our territory, defending our villages and cities

    Zelensky said during the press conference in Finland.Read more>>
  • Ukraine Seeks to Join Trans-Pacific Trade
    President Volodymyr Zelensky has approved the
    delegation that will participate in negotiations on Ukraine’s
    accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for
    Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Economy Minister Yulia
    Svyrydenko was appointed as head of the delegation. The Ministry of
    Economy expects to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement in
    early 2024. At the same time, there is a prospect of joining the
    agreement this year. Currently, the members of the agreement
    include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, Japan,
    New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.Read more>>
  • Zelensky Calls for Removal of EU Restrictions on
    Ukrainian Food Exports:
    President Volodymyr Zelensky
    called for the removal of what he termed the
    destructive” impact of bans of Ukrainian food
    products by five EU members during a phone call with European
    Council President Charles Michel. EU member states Poland,
    Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria also on April 28 agreed to
    restrictions of Ukrainian grain products as part of a deal with the
    EU that replaced unilateral bans on imports each country had put in
    place in response to plummeting domestic prices.Read more>>
  • Russian Gold Changes Its Destination: The main
    destinations for Russian gold after Western sanctions were the UAE,
    Hong Kong and Türkiye. After the restrictions of the G7
    countries and the European Union regarding Russian gold, dozens of
    little-known companies took up its sale. Sanctions prevent Russia
    from sending gold to the vaults of leading banks such as JPMorgan
    Chase & Co. and HSBC, as well as use the services of
    Brink’s and Loomis, which occupy a dominant role in the
    transportation of precious metals.Read more>>
  • Zelensky Announces Sanctions against Russian Companies
    Working for the Military Industry:
    Ukraine is preparing a
    new package of sanctions against individuals and legal entities
    working for the Russian military industry. President Volodymyr
    Zelensky stated this in his daily address to citizens.Read more>>
  • Moscow to Support Businesses & Employees Impacted
    by Western Sanctions:
    On May 4, 2023, it was reported that
    the Moscow government presented measures to support citizens and
    businesses in the face of Western sanctions. The priority plan is
    reported to include the preservation of jobs, ensuring the smooth
    functioning of enterprises, import substitution and social support
    for citizens, with other Russian regions soon expected to follow
    suit. The Russian government and the Central Bank are developing
    programs to subsidize interest rates on loans to refinance previous
    obligations, replenish working capital and pay salaries for
    enterprises that have pledged to keep jobs.Read more>>
  • Sberbank’s Tech Push Shows Russia’s Growing
    Reliance on Its Top Bank:
    On May 4, 2023, it was reported
    that Russian state-owned Sberbank has become one of the
    country’s leading technology players by taking on an
    increasingly important role as sanctions and exiting rivals create
    gaps in the market. Sberbank’s image has been transformed under
    CEO German Gref, who has overseen investments into artificial
    intelligence, cloud services, big data and smart devices. Cementing
    its banking credentials is Sberbank’s $530 billion in assets
    and 107 million retail clients.Read more>>
  • Staging Partial Recovery, Russia’s April Car Sales
    On May 4, 2023, analytical agency Autostat reported
    that car sales in Russia leapt by 170.4% year-on-year in April.
    Sales of new cars plunged by 59% in 2022 and Russia’s auto
    industry had been heavily reliant on investment, equipment, and
    parts from overseas and was hit hard by the fallout from Western
    sanctions and the carmaker exodus. Autostat reported that 75,622
    vehicles were sold in April 2023 compared to 27,965 in April 2022,
    which was still down on the 150,000 units sold in April 2021.Read more>>
  • Wall Street Journal Profiles Tanker Companies Still
    Willing to Sell Russian Oil:
    The Wall Street
    published a profile of George Economou, a Greek
    shipping and transit magnate whose company, TMS, is one of the
    leading companies still willing to move Russian oil to buyers
    worldwide. The company has moved tens of millions of barrels since
    the invasion of Ukraine, second only to Sovcomflot.Read more>>
  • Russian-US JV Scraps Plan to Build Large Gas Turbines
    in Russia:
    On May 3, 2023, it was reported that a
    Russian-U.S. joint venture between GE and Russian state energy
    holding InterRAO has said it has abandoned plans to build
    large-capacity gas turbines in Russia under license from General
    Electric Co. The joint venture planned to produce its own medium
    and large capacity gas turbines for power plants by 2025-26, making
    90% of the components in Russia. The annual financial report from
    the joint venture, Russian Gas Turbines, said “external
    developments” had caused “significant changes to the
    format and extent of General Electric’s involvement in joint
    projects to localise gas turbine production, with unfavourable
    consequences for the company”.Read more>>


  • Ukraine Allies Looking to Tackle Russia Sanctions
    Loopholes and Tighten Net on Putin:
    On May 3,
    Bloomberg reported that the U.S., Europe, and other key
    allies of Ukraine are preparing fresh penalties against Russia to
    try and tighten the net on President Putin’s economy, according
    to people familiar with the matter. The plans, which will be
    unveiled around a G7 leaders meeting in Japan later this month,
    would be individually implemented but coordinated, aiming to close
    loopholes in existing penalties and tackle overall sanctions
    circumvention.Read more>>
  • Canada Sanctions Iranian Regime for Supporting Russian
    Invasion of Ukraine:
    On May 3, Canada announced that it is
    imposing additional sanctions on one entity and nine individuals
    for their role in systematic human rights violations in Iran and
    abroad. Specifically, the individuals listed included the senior
    leadership of Paravar Pars, a key Iranian drone producer that is
    supporting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by supplying drones to
    Moscow.Read more>>
  • New Zealand Increases Support to Ukraine, Further
    Sanctions War Facilitators:
    On May 3, New Zealand
    announced that it is significantly extending its defence
    commitments as well as humanitarian, legal and economic support for
    Ukraine. The package of measures included extending the deployment
    of defence personnel to train and support the Ukrainian armed
    forces; additional personnel to conduct space training programmes
    for the Ukrainian armed forces; additional funding for the
    provision of healthcare, food assistance, clean water, shelter,
    humanitarian support to Ukrainian refugees, and ensuring legal
    accountability and justice for victims in Ukraine. In addition, it
    is also imposing sanctions on 18 entities and 9 individuals that
    support Russia’s war against Ukraine, including the Russian
    Federal Security Service (FSB) and its senior leaders, Russian
    individuals and entities that facilitate Russia’s ability to
    wage war, and Iranian individuals and entities that provide direct
    military support to Moscow.Read more>>
  • Light Heavyweight Champion Not Eligible for Belt Due to
    Russia Sanctions:
    On May 2, the World Boxing Council (WBC)
    announced that Russian light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol is
    not eligible to fight for the WBC title due to ongoing sanctions
    for Russian and Belarusian fighters. Following Russia’s
    invasion of Ukraine, the WBC, like other sanctioning bodies in the
    sport, has chosen not to recognize champions or rank fighters from
    Russia and Belarus.Read more>>
  • South Africa Allows Landing of Sanctioned Russian Plane
    at Air Force Base:
    On May 4, The New York Times
    reported that South African officials had allowed a cargo plane
    sanctioned by U.S. for shipping weapons for Russia’s defense
    forces to land at an air force base near the country’s capital
    Pretoria last week, a move that could further increase tensions
    with the U.S. South Africa’s Department of Defense said in a
    statement that the plane had been delivering diplomatic mail for
    the Russian embassy, but refused to say precisely what was loaded
    on to and taken off the plane.Read more>>
  • South Africa Warns Putin Could Face Arrest While
    Attending BRICS Summit:
    The South African authorities have
    been attempting to dissuade Russian President Vladimir Putin from
    attending the BRICS summit it is hosting in Gauteng in August over
    fears that it would be compelled to arrest him following a warrant
    for his arrest issued by the International Criminal Court in The
    Hague in March. As South Africa has ratified the Rome Statute, the
    main document governing the ICC, it is obliged to obey its
    decisions, including arrest warrants for suspected war criminals.Read more>>

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