Sanctions Updates: Russia

Feb 26, 2022. (3:31 a.m. CET) SWIFT Preparing to Comply With Russian Measures 
We are engaging with European authorities to understand the details of the entities that will be subject to the new measures,” the organization said in an email. “We are preparing to comply upon legal instruction.”

Feb 26, 2022. (2:12 a.m. CET) Elon Musk Activates Starlink Satellites for Ukraine 

Feb 25, 2022. (8:03 p.m. CET) Abramovich Hands Over ‘Stewardship’ of Chelsea 
Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich said he would hand over the “stewardship and care” of his Chelsea Football Club to the organization’s charitable foundation. He didn’t indicate that he was open to selling the team.

Feb 25, 2022. (7 p.m. CET) Germany to Send Stingers, Anti-Tank Weapons
Germany’s government will provide 500 Stinger surface-to-air missiles and 1,000 anti-tank weapons to Ukraine “as quickly as possible,” signaling a further shift in its traditional restraint on weapons exports.

Feb 25, 2022. (1:41 p.m. CET) EU NATO Members Donate More Weapons to Ukraine 
The Netherlands will send 200 Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine as soon as possible, the Dutch government said in a statement. Belgium has also agreed to send fuel and 2,000 small arms to Ukraine, according to Prime Minister Alexander De Croo.

The Czech Republic will send machine guns, sniper rifles, handguns and ammunition worth about $9 million, Defense Minister Jana Cernochova said. Last month the Czechs agreed to send 4,000 artillery shells. Slovakia will send artillery shells and fuel, Defense Minister Jaroslav Nad told journalists. Germany said it would deploy troops to fellow NATO member Slovakia to set up a Patriot anti-aircraft missile system on its territory.

Feb 25, 2022. 5:33 PM ET. The Secretary of Treasury will also be imposing full blocking sanctions on the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) — a state owned financial entity that functions as a sovereign wealth fund, which is supposed to attract capital into the Russian economy in high-growth sectors. – Jen Psaki – United States government official

Feb 25, 2022. 4:58 PM ET. Canada will impose sanctions directly on Russian President Vladimir Putin and his inner circle of advisers, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced. The United States, United Kingdom and European Union earlier on Friday announced sanctions against Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Feb 25, 2022. 1:42 PM ET. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd.’s offshore units stopped issuing U.S. dollar-denominated letters of credit for purchases of physical Russian commodities ready for export.

Feb 25, 2022. EU agrees to freeze Putin, Lavrov assets over Ukraine
The EU has agreed to freeze European assets linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov over their decision to invade Ukraine.

The measures were added Friday after being raised in overnight discussions by EU leaders on a new sanctions package that EU foreign ministers from the 27-nation bloc were to validate, EU officials told AFP. (Journal IE)

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has said EU foreign ministers will agree to freezing the assets of Russian President Vladimir Putin and foreign minister Sergei Lavrov in the coming hours. (RTE IE)

Feb 25, 2022. OFAC #Sanctions update. Added to SDN List [Exec Order 14024]
GERASIMOV, Valery – DOB 08 Sep 1955;
LAVROV, Sergei Viktorovich (ЛАВРОВ, Сергей Викторович) (a.k.a. LAVROV, Sergey) – DOB 21 Mar 1950;
PUTIN, Vladimir Vladimirovich (ПУТИН, Владимир Владимирович) (a.k.a. PUTIN, Vladimir (ПУТИН, Владимир)) – DOB 07 Oct 1952;
SHOIGU, Sergei – DOB 21 May 1955

U.S. to prohibit US investment and trade with Donetsk and Luhansk

Feb 21, 2022. US President Joe Biden will soon move to prohibit US investment and trade with the self-declared republics of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine, the White House said Monday, following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement that he would recognise the separatist areas as independent nations (France24)

Canada ratchets up sanctions against Russia, cancels export permits

Feb 24, 2022. Canada announced more sanctions against Russia on Thursday, targeting 62 individuals and entities, including members of the elite and major banks, and cancelled all export permits following Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

Sanctions will target the Russian Security Council, including the defence minister, the finance Minister, and the justice minister, Trudeau said. (Reuters)

However, “like the U.S. it stopped short of direct action against the Russian energy sector or President Vladimir Putin.” (Politico)

Roman Abramovich: To Remain Untouched by Sanctions?

Feb 24, 2022. Roman Abramovich Has Sanction Insurance: A $2 Billion Loan To Chelsea FC. The club Abramovich bought for around $190 million in 2003, loved, nurtured and built into the 2021 UEFA Champions League winner was valued by Forbes at $3.2 billion last year. It owes the Russian billionaire, its majority owner, a staggering $2 billion. (Forbes)

Feb 24, 2022. West seems unwilling to touch Roman Abramovich, who is linked to the Russian state and ‘corrupt activity’ and should be the first to be sanctioned. Boris Johnson mistakenly said Abramovich was “already facing sanctions” and Downing Street later said the prime minister had made an error, formally correcting the record.

The Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich, was identified by the Home Office in 2019 as having links to the Russian state as well as to “corrupt activity and practices”, a Labour MP has told parliament, suggesting the UK should seize his assets and bar him from owning the football club. Chris Bryant asked MPs why nothing more had been done about Abramovich’s UK assets.

Abramovich, who made his fortune acquiring newly privatised Russian oil assets following the end of the Soviet Union, bought Chelsea in 2003 and has put enormous sums into the club.

Raising the issue of tier 1 visas, the sort held by Abramovich, which allow very rich people to invest in the UK, Bryant directly quoted a section of what he said was the Home Office document.

“I’ve got hold of a leaked document from 2019, from the Home Office, which says in relation to Mr Abramovich: ‘As part of HMG’s [Her Majesty’s government] Russia strategy aimed at targeting illicit finance and malign activity, Abramovich remains of interest to HMG due to his links to the Russian state and his public association with corrupt activity and practices,’” Bryant told the Commons.

Bryant added: “That’s nearly three years ago. And yet remarkably little has been done. Surely Mr Abramovich should no longer be able to own a football club in this country? Surely we should be looking at seizing some of his assets, including his £150m home, and making sure that other people who have had tier 1 visas like this are not engaged in malign activity in the UK?” (Guardian)