EU adopts ninth package of sanctions on Russia, UK imposes new financial and trade sanctions on Russia, Norway implements price cap on Russian crude oil

Earlier today, the 16 December 2022, the Council of the EU adopted a new, ninth package of sanctions on Russia. The UK has also adopted new financial and trade sanctions on Russia, and Norway has implemented the price cap policy on Russian crude oil. In addition, both the UK and the US have designated additional entities and individuals.

Below, we briefly summarize the past few days' developments in sanctions on Russia.

EU adopts ninth package of sanctions on Russia

The new package adopted today, was largely in line with the proposal outlined by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen last week. (See our previous WR Sanctions Alert). According to a press release from the Council of the EU, the new measures include:

  • New export controls and restrictions have been placed on dual-use goods and technology, and goods and technology that can contribute to the technological enhancement of the Russian defence and security sector, by adding 168 entities targeted by sectoral measures. The measures aim to restrict trade to Russia of key chemicals, nerve agents, night-vision and radio-navigation equipment, electronics and IT components.
  • Export ban on aircraft engines and their parts to Russia, as well as export ban on drone engines to Russia, and to any third country that could supply drones to Russia.
  • Measures aimed at the Russian energy and mining sector, including a ban on new investments in Russian mining (with exceptions for mining and quarrying activities involving certain critical raw materials)
  • New listings: "a very significant number" of additional individuals and entities have been added to the EU sanctions list.
  • The Russian Regional Development Bank has been added to the list of state-owned or controlled entities that are subject to a full transaction ban. Two, as of yet unnamed banks have been made subject to asset freeze measures.
  • The process for suspending the licenses of media outlets NTV/NTV Mir, Rossiya 1, REN TV and Pervyi Kanal, has been initiated.
  • Expansion of prohibited services to include advertising, market research and public opinion services, as well as product testing and technical inspection services.
  • Notably, a derogation has been introduced, allowing member states to unfreeze assets of, and to make funds and economic resources available to, certain already designated individuals who held significant roles in international trade relating to agricultural and food products, including wheat and fertilisers, in order to avoid and combat food insecurity around the world.
  • As of today, EU nationals are forbidden from holding posts on the governing bodies of Russian state-owned or controlled legal persons, entities or bodies, located in Russia.

The full text of the new sanctions package has as of yet not been published, but the relevant legal acts are expected to be published soon in the Official Journal of the EU.

The new measures come after a week of hectic discussions on how to further increase collective pressure on Russia to end its war of aggression and to withdraw its troops from Ukraine. In its conclusions from yesterday's meeting, the European Council stated that:

[the European Council] welcomes the reinforcement of EU restrictive measures against Russia, including through the EU’s ninth package of restrictive measures and the international oil price cap, while ensuring a global level playing field. The European Union stands ready to continue to reinforce the restrictive measures. The European Council underlines the importance of ensuring effective implementation and preventing circumvention and its facilitation. It reiterates its call for all countries to align with EU sanctions.

New UK financial and trade sanctions

Yesterday, 15 December 2022, the UK introduced new amendments to the Russia (Sanctions) (EU) (Exit) Regulations 2019 allowing for new financial sanctions, including:

  • Prohibition on services relating to trusts or similar arrangements to, or for the benefit of designated persons, and on providing new services relating to trusts or similar arrangements to, or for the benefit of, persons connected with Russia.
  • In an effort to close certain loopholes, amendments have been made to the already existing restrictions on dealing with securities or money market instruments (regulation 16) and loans and credit arrangements to persons connected with Russia (regulation 17).
  • The Bank of England's duty under the Banking Act 2009 to make a decision in respect of a notification of third-country resolution action in respect of designated persons or persons owned or controlled by designated persons has been suspended.

In tandem, the OFSI has issued a General License which allows for 7-day wind-down period with respect to these financial sanctions (see also OFSI Notice here, and a landing page for all General Licenses here).

Further, already existing trade sanctions measures have been expanded, including:

  • Additions to the schedule of critical-industry goods and critical-industry technology subject to export ban, including camouflage, oil production and mining equipment.
  • Five chemicals have been added to the schedule of defence and security goods and defence and security technology that are subject to export ban.
  • Prohibition on providing certain services to persons connected to Russia, including auditing services, advertising services, architectural and engineering services, and information technology consultancy and design services.

For further information, see the Explanatory Memorandum at this link.

Norway implements oil price cap

Last week, on 7 December 2022, Norway implemented the price cap policy for Russian crude oil into Norwegian law, by way of amendments to the Norwegian Ukraine Regulation's § 17k and corresponding annex XXVII.

For more information, see a press release from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Norwegian) and our previous WR Sanctions Alert on the price cap policy.

New US and UK listings

This past week, both the US and the UK have designated additional individuals and entities under their respective sanctions regimes on Russia (see a press release from OFAC here, and a notice from the OFSI here).

Notably, the US has sanctioned the Russia-based commercial bank Rosbank, and the UK has sanctioned an Iranian company, as well as two Iranian individuals, for providing components and engines for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to Russia.

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WR Sanctions Alerts provide you with updates on material developments in the country-specific sanctions programmes implemented by the US, the UN, the UK, the EU and Norway. We will not provide updates on mere prolongations, without material changes, of existing sanctions programmes, nor on any listings or de-listings of individuals/entities placed on implemented sanctions lists. Please note that the WR Sanctions Alerts are provided as general information and do not constitute legal advice.

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