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Ukraine Crisis – Russia / Ukraine Sanctions Update – ARCHIVE

Mayer Brown
13/05/2022

UPDATE

May 12, 2022

  • Sovcomflot Sells Ships to Asian Buyers Ahead of EU Sanctions: Russian shipping company Sovcomflot has sold five tankers to Dubai-based Korean shipping, and four natural gas carriers to Eastern Pacific Shipping, sources told The Wall Street Journal Thursday. The source added that it is in negotiations to sell three ships to China Merchants Group Ltd. The transactions come ahead of a Sunday deadline for companies in the European Union to terminate their dealings with Russia to comply with sanctions brought after the invasion of Ukraine. (https://www.wsj.com/articles/sovcomflot-reaches-deals-to-sell-tankers-amid-western-sanctions-11652375436?mod=livecoverage_web).

  • Russian Airlines Struggling Under Sanctions:Politico released a report on Thursday indicating that sanctions are making it difficult for Russian airlines to repair planes. All but 10 of state airline Aeroflot’s planes are serviced by Boeing or Airbus, which are banned from servicing Russian aircraft due to sanctions, and Russian airliner Sukhoi is having trouble receiving parts. With export controls and airspace bans continuing for the foreseeable future, these difficulties are impacting Russian airports as well, as layoffs and furloughs are becoming more common. (https://www.politico.eu/article/russia-scrambles-to-save-aviation-as-sanctions-begin-to-bite/).

  • Gazprom Announces Suspension of Polish Pipeline: On Wednesday, Russian natural gas provider Gazprom announced that it will stop transporting natural gas via the section of its Yamal-Europe pipeline that runs through Poland. The announcement comes a day after Russia sanctioned Gazprom’s affiliates in countries that have sanctioned Russia. The announcement also criticizes Poland’s treatment of Gazprom’s Poland affiliate, including imposing separate sanctions on the company, EuRoPol. (https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2022/05/12/russias-gazprom-halts-gas-transports-to-europe-via-poland-pipeline-a77657).

  •  Russian Railways Promises Uninterrupted Service, Despite Siemens Withdrawal: The Russian Railways press service announced that maintenance of the Sapsan and Lastochka trains will continue, despite Siemens’ announced departure from Russia. As part of its withdrawal from Russia, Siemens will stop performing maintenance on Russian railcars on May 13.(https://tass.com/economy/1450235).

UPDATE

May 11, 2022

  • Russia Sanctions Western Gazprom Units: On Wednesday, the Russian government announced new sanctions on 31 companies based in countries that have imposed sanctions on Russia as a result of its invasion of Ukraine. The sanctioned entities include local subsidiaries of Gazprom located in those countries, including Gazprom Germania. The announcement does not reveal specific details on the sanctions, though a recent Presidential Decree bans Russian companies from transacting with entities sanctioned by Russia. (https://www.reuters.com/business/russia-sanctions-gazprom-germania-units-owner-polish-part-yamal-europe-pipeline-2022-05-11/).

  •  Russian Central Bank Estimates Sanctions Will Remain in Place Until 2024: In a report on monetary policy published on Wednesday, the Russian Central Bank estimated that sanctions on Russian imports and exports will remain in place until 2024. The Bank also estimated that, by mid-2023, the Russian economy will have mostly adjusted to a heavily sanctioned environment. (https://tass.com/economy/1449597).

  •  Russia Prepared to Move On Without the West, Says Lavrov: After a Wednesday meeting with the Omani Foreign Minister Sayyid Badr Bin Hamad Bin Hamood Al Busaidi, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated, “we will rely on ourselves and on our dependable partners, the vast majority of which are not part of the so-called former golden billion,” or wealthy western nations. (https://tass.com/politics/1449463).

  • ILO Estimates 4.8 Million Ukrainians Lost Jobs Due to Russian Invasion: On Wednesday, the International Labor Organization (“ILO”) released a report summarizing the labor and employment situation in Ukraine. It estimates that 4.8 million Ukrainians had lost their jobs since the Russian invasion in February, with 1.2 million of those losses being refugees living in other countries. The report states that, if hostilities immediately ceased, 3.4 million of those jobs would rapidly return. The report praised the Ukrainian government for maintaining social safety net payments during the crisis. (https://www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/newsroom/news/WCMS_844625/lang–en/index.htm).

UPDATE

May 10, 2022

  • EBRD Revises Ukrainian 2022 GDP Forecast Downward: On Tuesday, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (“EBRD”) released its new 2022 GDP projections. Its projection for Ukraine showed a contraction of 30 percent through the year; the EBRD’s projection in April estimated a 20 percent contraction over the year. The EBRD expects Ukrainian GDP to expand by 25 percent in 2023, but this projection assumes that major reconstruction work had begun. Despite disruptions as a result of the war, the EBRD expects regional output in Central and Eastern Europe to grow by 1.1 percent this year. (https://www.ebrd.com/news/2022/war-in-ukraine-and-inflation-slow-growth-in-ebrd-regions.html).

  • Four Russian Regional Governors Resign Amid Sanctions Pressure: On Tuesday, the heads of the Tomsk, Saratov, Kirov and Mari El regions announced their immediate departures from office, while the head of Ryazan region said he would not run for another term. Analysts at the Centre for the Development of Regional Politics think tank in Moscow suspect that these resignations were orchestrated by the central government to remove poorly performing local heads as economic projections worsen. Elections in the impacted regions are set for September of this year. (https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/four-russian-governors-resign-sanctions-bite-2022-05-10/).

UPDATE

May 09, 2022

  • Russia-Focused Private Equity Firms Feel Sanctions Impact: On Monday, Bloomberg published a profile on difficulties at Baring Vostok, once considered to be the “gold standard” of Russian private equity investment. Since the fund is focused on Russian investment, many of its assets are frozen, and major institutional investors in the fund, including the California Public Employees’ Pension Retirement System, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and General Electric Co.’s pension fund, are uncertain if they’ll get their remaining money back. (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-05-09/fund-that-thrived-with-founder-in-russian-jail-can-t-escape-war).

  • Putin Criticizes “Russophobia” in Victory Day Speech: On May 9, Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke in connection with a Victory Day parade in Moscow. The speech mostly focused on justification for the war in Ukraine, but also included segments criticizing “Russophobia.” He specifically called out the United States, saying that the country “started talking about its exceptionalism, which is humiliating not only for the entire world but also for its satellites who have to pretend that they don’t notice anything and obediently accept it all.” (https://tass.com/politics/1448669).

UPDATE

May 08, 2022

  • State Duma Speaker Says “No Guarantee” that Departed Western Companies Will Be Able to Return: Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Russian State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said that “there is no guarantee that they will be able to return. They will be promptly replaced by Russian and Asian companies.” He added that Russia remains open for foreign investment for those companies that remain. (https://tass.com/politics/1448259).

UPDATE

May 06, 2022

  • Russia Publishes List of Goods for Parallel Imports: On Friday, Russia published a list of over 50 categories of goods eligible for “parallel imports,” which allows a Russian company to buy goods from any company outside of Russia (including that good’s country of origin) that earlier purchased the goods legally. The list includes all major foreign carmakers and technology brands like Apple and Cisco. The rule enters into effect on May 6. (https://www.reuters.com/business/russia-publishes-list-parallel-imports-goods-2022-05-06/).

  • Former Russian President Praises Hungary’s Resistance to Oil Ban: On Friday, former Russian President and current Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev released a statement on his Telegram channel praised Hungarian President Viktor Orban for “taking a courageous step for voiceless Europe” in opposing the EU’s proposed ban on imports of Russian oil. Hungary has said that bans on energy imports would be a “red line” that Hungary could not support. (https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/medvedev-hails-orbans-opposition-to-eu-oil-religious-figures-sanctions/).

  • Russian Forces Seize Grain in Ukraine: Social media reports emerged late this week that Russian forces in Kherson, in southern Ukraine, were looting grain from farmers in the region. UN officials have confirmed the veracity of several of the reports.  Ukraine has a robust agricultural sector, but limited means to export it, given a Russian naval blockade. (https://www.wsj.com/livecoverage/russia-ukraine-latest-news-2022-05-06).

UPDATE

May 05, 2022

  • Lukoil to Cancel Listing on UK Stock Exchange to Comply with Russian Law: On Thursday, Lukoil announced that it intends to cancel its listing and admission to trading on the London Stock Exchange on June 6 to comply with new Russian laws prohibiting the offering and trading of foreign securities representing shares of issuers in the Russian Federation. Lukoil also announced that it would terminate its ADR facilities on December 31to comply with the Russian law. Shares in Lukoil have been suspended on the London Stock Exchange since March 3. (https://www.wsj.com/livecoverage/russia-ukraine-latest-news-2022-05-05).

UPDATE

May 04, 2022

  • Russia Imposes Entry Ban on Japanese Government Officials: On Wednesday, the Russian government announced that it would ban the entry of 63 Japanese nationals, including Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, for an “unprecedented anti-Russian campaign with unacceptable rhetoric” against the country. The ban extends to cabinet ministers like Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi and Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno. (https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2022/05/04/national/politics-diplomacy/russia-ban-kishida-officials/).

  • Rouble Leaps to Over 2-year High Against Both Dollar and Euro: The Russian rouble jumped on Wednesday to a more than two-year high against both the dollar and euro. On May 4, 2022, the rouble closed 6.6 percent higher against the dollar at 66.30. The rouble is being propped up by capital controls, while stocks are trading with a ban on short selling and foreign players barred from ditching shares in Russian companies without permission. (https://uk.sports.yahoo.com/news/rouble-jumps-around-two-high-080407682.html).

UPDATE

May 03, 2022

  • Russia Imposes Export and Investment Restrictions on Western Countries: On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree restricting exports of raw materials and transactions with foreign organizations. The decree does not specify which raw materials are now restricted. The decree says that the restrictions on foreign transactions will be limited to a list of specific companies; the Russian government has 10 days to issue a list of foreign entities sanctioned under the decree. (https://www.wsj.com/livecoverage/russia-ukraine-latest-news-2022-05-03).

  •  Zelenskyy Calls for “Economic Isolation” of Russia: Speaking to the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council Summit, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on any multinational corporations remaining in Russia to leave, saying that any remaining companies “are supporting the Russian war machine.” He added, “The aggressor has to be isolated. Full, complete economic isolation. That will allow Ukraine to fight to defend our rights.” Looking ahead to a postwar Ukraine, he promised the assembled audience that Ukraine would have a favorable investment climate once the invasion is over. (https://www.wsj.com/articles/ukraine-needs-support-of-global-business-president-zelensky-says-at-ceo-summit-11651604137?mod=livecoverage_web).

UPDATE

May 02, 2022

  • Russia Rolls Out Domestic Spending Package to Blunt Sanctions Impact: Russia is assembling a domestic spending package valued at tens of billions of dollars to blunt the impact sanctions are having on the country. The package, whose exact value has not yet been publicized, is believed to focus on struggling small businesses and individuals. Russia is able to liberally spend due to consistent oil and gas income, but must carefully navigate supply chain issues and inflationary pressures. (https://www.wsj.com/articles/russia-turns-on-spending-taps-to-blunt-economic-impact-of-war-and-sanctions-11651450784).

  • Oligarch Claims He Was Forced to Sell Stake in Bank After Criticizing War: On Monday, banking tycoon Oleg Tinkoff said that was forced to sell his stake in TCS Group at a drastically reduced price after publicly criticizing the war in Ukraine. Tinkoff claims that Russian government officials threatened to nationalize Tinkoff Bank (which is owned by TCS Group), and he is currently in hiding and fears for his safety. (https://www.ft.com/content/41b887c4-ed52-4cf0-8a6f-394d578ea6a2).

  • Ukraine Calls for Further Isolation of Russia After Lavrov’s Anti-Semitic Comments: On Monday, the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement calling on the international community to “further isolate it [Russia], impose an embargo on Russian oil and gas that will deprive the Russian military machine of financial resources, and increase military, financial and humanitarian aid to Ukraine” in response to anti-semitic comments over the weekend from Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. (https://mfa.gov.ua/en/news/zayava-mzs-ukrayini-shchodo-antisemitskih-vipadiv-glavi-mzs-rf-sergiya-lavrova).   

UPDATE

May 01, 2022

  • Russian Foreign Minister Says Sanctions Relief a Topic of Negotiation, Ukraine Denies: In remarks published on Saturday to the Xinhua news agency, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that, in daily video calls with Ukrainian representatives, Russian negotiators are focused on “among others, the issues of denazificiation, the recognition of new geopolitical realities, the lifting of sanctions, the status of the Russian language.” He said that Russia supports further negotiations, though they are proving to be difficult. (https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/lifting-sanctions-against-russia-part-peace-talks-with-ukraine-lavrov-2022-04-30/).

  • Ukrainian Foreign Minister Says Oil Embargo “Must” Be in Next EU Sanctions Package: In a Sunday tweet, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that he spoke with EU Foreign Minister Josep Borrell on the next round of EU sanctions. He said that an oil embargo “must” be included in the next package. (https://twitter.com/DmytroKuleba/status/1520778815760445442).

  • Russia to Quit International Space Station over Sanctions: The head of Russia’s space program said the country will pull out of the International Space Station, state media reported, a move it has blamed on sanctions imposed over the invasion of Ukraine. Roscosmos General Director Dmitry Rogozin clarified that Russia will end its commitments on the space station with a year’s notice to its international partners, in keeping with its international obligations. (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-04-30/russia-will-quit-international-space-station-over-sanctions).

UPDATE

April 29, 2022

  • Russia Claims it Made Overdue Payments to Citigroup in Dollars:  Russia’s Ministry of Finance claimed that two payments totaling $649 million that had been originally due on April 4 but blocked due to US sanctions had been sent in dollars to Citigroup, the paying agent responsible for distributing cash to bondholders. Citigroup did not comment, but a US official stated that the payments were made using dollars in Russia, and while not specifically authorized by the US, were allowed under a carve-out for such payments. Citigroup did not comment. (https://www.ft.com/content/b0d6d631-79ad-4bc4-8641-b59f200d9ad5)

UPDATE

April 28, 2022

  • Zelenskyy Says Sanctions Must Be “Effective” and “Strong”: Speaking to reporters after meeting with Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petrov on Thursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked Bulgaria for its “principled position” in support of the EU sanctions regime. He also said, “I want to emphasize that sanctions against Russia are needed only to force Russia to seek peace. For this to happen, sanctions must be effective, strong and must prevent Russia from evading the restrictions.” (https://www.ukrinform.net/rubric-ato/3469974-sanctions-against-russia-must-be-effective-and-strong-zelensky.html).

  • Report Values Russian Energy Exports at $66 Billion Since Start of Invasion: The Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air estimates that Russia earned $66.5 billion in fossil fuel exports since the start of the invasion of Ukraine, according to a report published by the Center on Wednesday. The report tabs Germany as the biggest spender; the country purchased $9.65 billion in Russian fuel products since late February. The report tracks ship movements, real-time gas flows, and uses historical monthly trade data as a reference point. (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2022/04/27/ukraine-russia-invasion-live-updates/9549843002/).

UPDATE

April 27, 2022

  • Russia Sanctions 287 British Members of Parliament (MPs): Russia has sanctioned 287 British MPs in a retaliatory move against UK restrictions imposed over the Ukraine invasion. The list of sanctioned MPs includes 213 from the ruling Conservatives and 74 from the opposition Labour. It also includes Cabinet members Steve Barclay, Jacob Rees-Mogg and Thérèse Coffey. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson called these sanctions a “badge of honour”. (https://www.politico.eu/article/russia-sanction-287-uk-mp-counter-retaliatory-move/).

UPDATE

April 26, 2022

  • Russia to Cut Off Gas Supply to Poland, Bulgaria: Polish State Gas Company PGNiG and Bulgaria’s national natural gas provider stated that they had received communication from Gazprom that it will cease shipments of Russian natural gas beginning at 8:00 Central European Time. Gazprom described the suspension as a breach of contract; Poland had previously refused to purchase Russian natural gas with rubles, a requirement for Russian gas purchases. Polish and Bulgarian officials expressed confidence that the country’s energy supply is secure. (https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/russian-gas-supplies-poland-halted-polish-media-reports-2022-04-26/).

  • Rosneft Struggling to Find Oil Buyers Due to Sanctions: The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that Russian oil giant Rosneft was unable to find enough buyers to fill a fleet of oil tankers last week, based on bid solicitations examined by the Journal. This may be due to an EU ban European companies from selling Rosneft oil outside of Europe; the ban goes into effect on May 15. (https://www.wsj.com/articles/russia-tried-to-sell-a-huge-slug-of-oil-nobody-wanted-it-11650995897).

  • Russia Green Lights “Gray Market”: As international corporations announced that they are no longer doing business with Russia, the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade is compiling a list of 50 product groups from over 200 brands that may be sold in a parallel market without the permission of their intellectual property holder, otherwise known as a “gray market.” Items on the list include goods in the vehicle, smartphone, and computer sectors. (https://www.macobserver.com/news/russia-legalizes-shady-gray-market-for-tech-products-in-effort-to-skirt-sanctions/).

UPDATE

April 25, 2022

  • Major Auditing Firms Slow to Leave Russia: On Monday, The Wall Street Journal profiled major accounting and auditing firms who maintain operations in Russia, even though many of the firms have publicly disavowed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. These firms are slowly withdrawing from the country and leaving a standalone auditing and accounting firm behind. The Russia offices of these firms are not major sources of revenue for any of the firms, but ongoing contractual obligations is making the withdrawal difficult. (https://www.wsj.com/articles/global-auditing-firms-struggle-to-leave-russia-11650832447).

  • Russia Seeking Closer Relations with BRICS Nations: In a Monday forum, Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov stated that the country is interested in increasing settlements in national currencies with BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) and EAEU (Eurasian Economic Union) nations. He noted that the shift to national currencies would increase independence among the countries in trade relationships. (https://tass.com/economy/1442705).

  • Putin Criticizes Western Sanctions: Speaking at a meeting of the Board of the Prosecutor General’s office, Russian President Vladimir Putin described western restrictions on the country as “sanctions aggression,” and praised Russian businesses for continuing operations in a difficult business environment. He stated, “Even though not all small and medium-sized companies had fully gotten over the consequences of the pandemic yet, they immediately came up against barriers associated with the sanctions aggression against Russia.” He called on the government and the Russian people to support Russian businesses in this period. (https://tass.com/economy/1442709).

UPDATE

April 22, 2022

  • Russia to Repay Foreign Currency Debt if Accounts Unfrozen: Speaking on Friday, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov stated that Russia would repay its foreign debt obligations only if its foreign currency accounts were unfrozen. If this request is refused, the country is prepared to pay debts in rubles.  (https://tass.com/economy/1441793).

UPDATE

April 21, 2022

  • Russian Foreign Ministry Expands Entry Bans on US Officials: On Thursday, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that it expanded its entry ban on US officials by 29. The list now includes Vice President Kamala Harris, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks, State Department Spokesperson Ned Price, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby, White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain, Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan, CEO of Northrup Grumman Kathy Warden, President of General Dynamics Phebe Novakovic, President of Booz Allen Hamilton Horacio Rozanski, LinkedIn CEO Ryan Rolanksy, and ABC Host George Stephanopoulos. (https://techcrunch.com/2022/04/21/russia-says-nyet-sanctions-mark-zuckerberg-linkedins-roslansky-vp-harris-and-other-us-leaders/).  

UPDATE

April 20, 2022

  •  Russia Reassessing WTO Posture in Response to Sanctions: In a Wednesday meeting with representatives from the Russian metals sector, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the government to update its national strategy at the World Trade Organization (“WTO”) in light of recently imposed restrictions on Russian metals companies. He also asked the government to prepare an “assessment of lawfulness” of the trade restrictions. He set a June 1 deadline for both reports. (https://tass.com/economy/1440591).

  • Rosselkhozbank Says Sanctions Are Impeding Ability to Pay Debt: On Wednesday, state-owned Russian bank Rosselkhozbank stated that British sanctions had prevented the country from making a $21.15 million interest payment on Eurobonds held with its Luxembourg subsidiary RSHB Capital SA. The loan payment was due on April 16. Rosselkhozbank said that payment agent BNY Mellon in London had not confirmed it was ready to accept the payment until it received further instruction from UK regulators. (https://www.reuters.com/business/russias-rosselkhozbank-says-sanctions-impeding-efforts-honour-debt-obligations-2022-04-20/).   

  • Putin Requires Russian Companies to Remove Listings on Foreign Stock Exchanges: On April 16, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree that requires Russian companies to remove listings from overseas stock exchanges,Bloomberg reported on Tuesday. This means that Russian CEOs will no longer be able to collect foreign currency dividends from depository receipts, and foreign holders of canceled receipts must receive normal shares placed in non-resident accounts in Russia. (https://finance.yahoo.com/news/putin-signs-decree-remove-russian-135326392.html).

  • Russian Crude Oil Exports Decline: As the EU debates imposing a ban on Russian crude oil, export data indicates that Russia exported 21.8 million barrels of crude oil from export terminals during the week of April 15. This marks a 25 percent decline in exports as compared to the week of April 8. Crude oil exports are volatile and depend on weather in ports on scheduled export days. (https://finance.yahoo.com/news/russian-crude-shipments-shrink-25-112429478.html).

  • Russian Attorneys Suing Apple for Shutdown of Apple Pay: On Wednesday, attorneys from Chernyshov, Lukoyanov and Partners announced that they will be suing Apple for shutting down Apple Pay on Russian devices. They stated that it will be a class action suit for “intentional moral damage to Russian users and owners of Apple devices.” (https://tass.com/economy/1440457).

UPDATE

April 19 2022

  • Russia Preparing Lawsuits to Challenge Blocks on Gold and Foreign Exchange Reserves: On Tuesday, Governor of the Bank of Russia Elvira Nabiullina said that the country is preparing lawsuits to challenge freezes on Russia’s access to gold and foreign exchange reserves. She added that the country needed to impose additional currency regulations in reaction to blocks on gold and foreign exchange reserves. (https://tass.com/economy/1439679).

UPDATE

April 18 2022

  • Russia Sanctions UK Officials: On Saturday, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced sanctions on 13 leading British politicians for the UK government’s “unprecedented hostile actions” targeting Russia. The UK politicians implicated in the ban include Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, and Defense Secretary Ben Wallace. (https://www.politico.eu/article/russia-bans-boris-johnson-ukraine-war-sanctions/).

  • Russia Admits Difficulty in Sourcing Foreign Currency Reserves: Speaking on Monday, Russian Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina admitted that the country was having difficulty in sourcing foreign currency reserves, saying, “the list of the countries issuing liquid reserve currencies is limited and they are the ones that have taken hostile measures and limited our access.” She added that the country is planning on issuing restrictions against countries that have blocked access to reserves, but stated any action “must be very carefully thought through…so that we might get the desired result.” (https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/currencies/russia-central-bank-foreign-currency-sanctions-frozen-reserves-ukraine-war-2022-4).

  • Moscow Mayor Estimates 200,000 Jobs At Risk due to Business Closures: In a Monday blog post, Mayor of Moscow Sergei Sobyanin estimates that the city stands to lose 200,000 jobs as a result of companies suspending business in Russia. He added that government authorities had approved $41 million in assistance to temporarily support employment in the capital city through retraining and public works projects. (https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-sobyanin-job-losses-invasion-sanctions/31808490.html).

  • Zelenskyy Credits Sanctions as a Tool for Hindering Russian Military Resupply: In a Monday address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that sanctions already imposed on Russia would make it difficult to “restore its missile arsenal.” He added, “when all the loopholes used to circumvent sanctions are closed, and when even tougher sanctions are imposed, restoring Russia’s missile capabilities will be unrealistic. That is, Russian missile strikes lead to only one thing – missile self-demilitarization of the Russian Federation.” He noted that similar restrictions will apply to artillery, aircraft, helicopters, and cruisers. (https://www.president.gov.ua/en/news/mi-svit-ta-istoriya-zaberut-u-rosiyi-znachno-bilshe-nizh-ros-74409).

  • Putin Describes Western Sanctions as a “Failure”: Speaking to Russian economic advisors on Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that Western governments’ plan to “quickly upset” the Russian financial market through sanctions was a “failure.” He added that sanctions had led to a “deterioration of the economy in the West.” (https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/4/18/putin-says-wests-sanctions-blitz-has-failed).

UPDATE

April 15, 2022

  • Russian Communications Regulator Blocks Access to RFI, Moscow Times: Independent newspaper The Moscow Times announced on Friday that its Russian-language website had been blocked by communications regulators for allegedly publishing false reports on riot police officers refusing to fight in Ukraine. French media outlet Radio France Internationale also reported on Friday that its English, Russian, and French language sites were not functioning in Russia, after the outlet published reports from the war in Ukraine this week. (https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-blocks-moscow-times-ukraine-war/31804960.html).

  • Russia Formally Objects to US Weapons Sales, Warns of “Unpredictable Consequences”: CNN reported on Friday that Russia had sent a formal diplomatic cable (a demarche) to the US earlier this week objecting to the US providing Ukraine with military assistance. The note warned of “unpredictable consequences” should the transaction, or ones similar to it, go through, though it was unclear how Russian policy would change as a result of the sale. (https://www.cnn.com/2022/04/15/politics/russia-us-diplomatic-note/index.html).

UPDATE

April 14, 2022

  • Russia Sanctions US, Canadian Officials: On Wednesday, Russia imposed sanctions on 398 members of the US House of Representatives and 87 Canadian Senators. The move comes shortly after the US sanctioned 328 members of the Russian State Duma, which blocked all property held in the US by those individuals and banned them from any dealings with US citizens. Russian officials said the sanctions would mirror US punitive measures, but provided few details. (https://www.reuters.com/world/russia-is-imposing-sanctions-us-canadian-politicians-interfax-2022-04-13/).

  • Russia to Redirect Oil and Gas Exports Away from the West: Speaking on Thursday during a televised government meeting, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that Russia will “need to proceed on the basis that in the foreseeable future, supplies of energy to the West will be reduced.” He added that the country will take steps to shift exports to “fast-growing markets of the South and East.” (https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/4/14/russia-will-pivot-energy-exports-towards-asia-putin).

  • Opposition Leader Navalny Highlights Downsides of Social Media Advertising Bans:In a Thursday Twitter thread, prominent Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny called on social media companies Google and Meta (Facebook) to reconsider bans on advertising in Russia. He stated that advertising campaigns are an important tool in reaching everyday Russians, moreso than a YouTube or Facebook account, saying “a huge national anti-war campaign will start with an advertising campaign.” (https://twitter.com/navalny/status/1514589869204508675).

  • Ukrainian National Bank Estimates Inflation May Exceed 20%: The Ukrainian National Bank announced on Thursday that, due to supply disruptions as a result of the war with Russia, inflation in the country may break 20% by year’s end. However, the Bank said inflation may be localized, as certain regions are more heavily impacted by the war than others. The Bank stated it would attempt to stem inflation by fixing the hryvnia exchange rate. (https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/economic/824134.html).

UPDATE

April 13, 2022

  • Business Disruptions Hamper Russian Employment: As more western companies cease doing business in Russia, more Russian workers are losing their jobs; Russian think tanks estimate that unemployment in the country could reach 8 percent, double what it was in February 2022. Though western business closures primarily are harming white collar professionals, the effects are starting to reach service sector employees that support them. In addition, Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport furloughed a fifth of its staff due to travel restrictions. (https://www.reuters.com/business/russian-workers-face-new-reality-ukraine-war-sanctions-sap-job-prospects-2022-04-13/).

UPDATE

April 12, 2022

  • Russia Contests Allegations of Default: On Tuesday, the Russian Finance Ministry responded to a Monday CNN report that Russia had defaulted on its national debt. The CNN report was based on an announcement from over the weekend that S&P downgraded Russian debt to “selective default” status, which indicates that the country is at risk of not meeting certain of its debts, here, debts held in foreign currency. The Finance Ministry stated, “default means the debtor either has no money to honor its debt liabilities or no desire to honor such liabilities when funds are available. Neither of the two is the case in point in respect of Russia. The Russian Federation has enough funds to timely service and repay all its debt liabilities.” It noted that restrictions on payment of debt in foreign currencies “were created artificially” in its statement. (https://tass.com/economy/1436563).

  • Zelenskyy Calls for EU to End Russian Oil and Gas Consumption in Speech to Lithuanian Parliament: Speaking to the Lithuanian parliament on Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked the country for being among the first EU countries that ended Russian oil and gas imports. He urged the rest of the bloc to stop importing Russian energy products, while lamenting, “If oil is being seriously discussed only for the sixth package of sanctions, then the world does not realize what war Russia was preparing for. If there is still no clear decision on Russian gas, there can be no certainty that Europe has a common will to stop Russian war crimes.” (https://www.president.gov.ua/en/news/zvernennya-prezidenta-ukrayini-do-parlamentu-litvi-74285).  

UPDATE

April 11, 2022

  • Russian Railways Declared in Default: Russian Railways has been ruled in default on a bond after missing an interest payment last month in the latest sign that western sanctions are hammering Moscow. The decision by the Credit Derivatives Determinations Committee comes after the state-owned company failed to make a payment to investors and a 10-day grace period expired. Contracts insuring the company’s debt against default will be triggered, and holders will now wait to see how much will be paid. (https://www.wsj.com/articles/russian-railways-ruled-in-default-as-sanctions-ensnarl-payments-11649693669).

  •  Former Aide to Putin Believes a Full Embargo on Russian Oil Could Stop the War:  Dr Andrei llarionov, President Putin’s former chief economic adviser, has said if Western countries implemented a full embargo on oil and gas he believed military operations in Ukraine would cease “probably within a month or two“. In 2021, oil and gas revenues accounted for 36% of Russia’s government spending. (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-61040424).

  • Polish Seizure of Russian Diplomatic Property May Prompt Retaliation: On Monday, Polish authorities seized unoccupied, diplomatic, residential property owned by the Russian Federation in Warsaw. Russian Ambassador to Poland Sergey Andreyev warned against future action like this, saying, “Before now, the Polish authorities were not making such abrupt moves and abided by the Vienna Convention, avoiding violations, but now, quite possibly a start has been made and new similar moves may follow.” (https://tass.com/politics/1436023).   

UPDATE

April 9, 2022

  • Ukraine Imposes Full Trade Embargo with Russia: After a Saturday meeting, Ukrainian Cabinet of Minister Representative Taras Melnychuk confirmed that the Ukrainian government had imposed a full trade embargo on goods from Russia. The country had previously restricted the import of certain goods from the Russian federation. (https://www.pravda.com.ua/eng/news/2022/04/9/7338472/).

UPDATE

April 8, 2022

  • Russia Revokes Registration of Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International: On Friday, the Russian Ministry of Justice announced that it was revoking the registration of 15 foreign nonprofits, including the Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, for “violations of the current legislation in the Russian Federation.” The details of the violations were not provided with the announcement. Human Rights Watch recently described certain Russian actions in Ukraine as “laws-of-war violations.” (https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/russia-revokes-registration-amnesty-human-rights-watch-ministry-2022-04-08/).

  • Rusal Calls for Impartial Investigation into Bucha: On Friday, Chairman of Russian aluminum company Rusal, Bernard Zonnenveld, released a statement saying that he supported an “objective and impartial investigation” of the atrocities in Bucha, Ukraine, and called for punishment for the perpetrators, though he refused to assign blame. He also called for an end to the war in Ukraine, a rare statement for a major Russian corporation.(https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/chairman-russias-rusal-calls-investigation-bucha-killings-2022-04-08/).

UPDATE

April 7, 2022

  • Zelenskyy Urges Cyprus to Suspend “Golden Passports”: Speaking to the Cypriot parliament on Thursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on the country to improve its sanctions enforcement efforts. He said that the country should stop issuing “golden passports,” which grant Russians dual citizenship with an EU country, and freeze Russian yachts and vessels in Cypriot waters. (https://www.president.gov.ua/en/news/promova-prezidenta-ukrayini-v-palati-predstavnikiv-kipru-74161).

  • Russia to Continue Retaliation for Western Sanctions: Speaking to assembled press on Thursday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, “Russia will continue to respond without fail and will do it as it sees fit” as the West imposes more sanctions on the country. He added that Russia had been preparing for sanctions like the current ones for over a year now, since the country has experienced sanctions for over a decade. (https://tass.com/politics/1434387).

  • Ukraine Continues Call for Stronger Sanctions: Ukrainian officials continue to call for more intense restrictions on Russia; in recent public appearances, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has urged allied countries to stop buying Russian oil and gas. However, European countries are not immediately taking up his suggestion. An EU ban on Russian coal is expected to be pushed back to mid-August, and Ukraine criticized the Hungarian government for breaking with the EU and announcing an openness to pay for Russian gas in rubles. (https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/ukraine-seeks-ruinous-sanctions-russia-amid-european-hesitancy-2022-04-06/).

UPDATE

April 6, 2022

  • Zelenskyy Calls for Strict Sanctions in Speech Before Irish Parliament: On Wednesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke before the Irish parliament. During the speech he urged Ireland to “persuade your EU partners to toughen sanctions against the Russian Federation.” These restrictions include a ban on all trade with Russia, blocking all ties between Russian banks and the world financial system, and a “cut off [of] the flow of money that the Russian budget receives for oil.” (https://www.president.gov.ua/en/news/promova-prezidenta-ukrayini-v-erahtasi-parlamenti-irlandiyi-74137).

  • Alternative Trade Routes Won’t Compensate for Loss of Black Sea Trade: Following an EU Agriculture Commissioner’s call to establish fast-track trade with Ukraine to bring fuel to Ukrainian farmers and to help transport Ukrainian produce, Ukraine’s Deputy Economy Minister said that these measures would not be enough. She added that Ukraine is considering additional small steps including the ramping up of truck traffic (https://www.politico.eu/article/green-corridor-west-not-save-ukraine-trade/).

UPDATE

April 5, 2022

  • Ukrainian President Calls for “The Most Powerful” Sanctions on Russia: In a speech before the Spanish parliament on Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called for “the most severe” sanctions on Russia in response to atrocities committed in Bucha, Ukraine. The President said, “How can we allow Russian banks to generate profits while the Russian military tortures ordinary civilians to death in Ukrainian cities? How can European companies trade in a state that is deliberately destroying our people?” (https://www.president.gov.ua/en/news/promova-prezidenta-ukrayini-u-generalnih-kortesah-ispaniyi-74125).

  • Ukrainian Foreign Minister Seeks Russian Energy Ban: In a Tuesday tweet, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba urged allied countries to impose “the mother of all sanctions” on Russia, which he described as a ban on purchases of oil, coal, and gas from Russia. He stated “A few months of tightening your belts are worth thousands of saved lives.” (https://twitter.com/DmytroKuleba/status/1511298400733609988?s=20&t=TB84Lq2oYP83EdQtc4OyPQ).

UPDATE

April 4, 2022

  • Russia Considers Retaliatory Sanctions on Polish Majority Party: After news broke on Monday that Poland is considering sanctions on all members of the United Russia party, the party’s Chairman, Dmitry Medvedev, proposed retaliatory sanctions against members of Poland’s largest political party, the Law and Justice party. (https://tass.com/politics/1432107).

  • Ukrainian Foreign Minister Calls for “Most Severe Sanctions”: After a Monday meeting in Warsaw with his UK counterpart Liz Truss, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said, “We have discussed the sanctions that should be imposed against Russia without delay. In fact, we have a common opinion with Liz, and I appreciate that Ukraine and Britain are united on this issue.” He urged allies to impose the “most severe sanctions” on Russia this week, noting that Western nations still allow payments, minerals, and transactions with Russia. (https://www.ukrinform.net/rubric-ato/3448752-kuleba-truss-discuss-sanctions-against-russia.html).

  • Russia Continues to Avoid Debt Default: Thus far, the Russian government has avoided defaulting on its debt, despite severe international sanctions. The Russian government appeared to stave off default for another payment on Monday through a debt buy-back of three quarters of its US dollar debt, though it is unclear whether the remaining payment has been made. Analysts indicate that the longer international sanctions are in place, the more difficult it will be for Russia to avoid default. (https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/04/business/russia-debt-bonds.html).

UPDATE

April 3, 2022

  • Ukrainian Foreign Minister Calls for New Sanctions: As more details on Russian atrocities against civilians in Bucha, Ukraine emerged, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba took to Twitter on Sunday to call on G7 nations to impose the following sanctions on Russia: an embargo on Russian oil, coal, and gas; port closures for Russian ships; and a removal of all Russian banks from SWIFT. (https://twitter.com/DmytroKuleba/status/1510547460875243529?s=20&t=lF55nj41dvR4ezRlon73Pg) (graphic images). 

  • Ukrainian President Skeptical of New Sanctions Package: In a televised speech on Sunday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy criticized western “indecision” with regard to Russia, saying “there will definitely be a new package of sanctions against Russia. But I’m sure that’s not enough. More conclusions are needed. Not only about Russia, but also about the political behavior that actually allowed this evil to come to our land.” (https://www.president.gov.ua/en/news/chas-zrobiti-vse-shob-voyenni-zlochini-rosijskih-vijskovih-s-74053).

UPDATE

April 2, 2022

  • Russia Ends Cooperation on International Space Station and Demands End to Sanctions: Russia’s space director, Dmitry Rogozin said April 2, 2022, that western countries must ‘unconditionally’ remove sanctions against Moscow in order to restore “normal relations between the partners” at the ISS. He also said the sanctions were “illegal” and designed to “kill the Russian economy and plunge our people into despair and hunger, to get our country on its knees.” (https://www.lbc.co.uk/news/russia-end-cooperation-international-space-station/).

  • Zelenskyy Calls for Increased Sanctions: In a Friday evening interview with Fox News, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called for increased sanctions on Russia. He said, “Sanctions definitely work, and Russia is definitely afraid of sanctions. It puts them out of comfort. It drops down their economy. But there’s a question of how sanctions are working. We are showing and telling the United States and European leaders, everybody must work together quickly.” He added, “they must have an impact on the oligarchs, on the President of Russia and on all the parties and on the country in general. The United States should continue working on this if the US would like to have successful negotiations.” (https://www.cnn.com/europe/live-news/ukraine-russia-putin-news-04-2-22/h_a907bc43a6bad662c6a758abb7ade6af).

  • Russia Reacts to Allegations that Germany May Nationalize Gazprom Germany Offices:Speaking in response to allegations on Thursday that Germany is considering nationalizing Gazprom and Rosneft’s offices in Germany, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov harshly criticized the decision, saying “such a plan would seriously violate international law and just about all the rules and laws that you can think of.” (https://tass.com/politics/1431161).

UPDATE

April 1, 2022

  • Gazprom Confirms Ruble Payment Scheme with Customers: On Friday, Gazprom began notifying counterparties that payments for Russian natural gas must be made in rubles. The Russian government has permitted non-ruble payments through specified Russian banks, which will open two accounts for the impacted customer (one in rubles and one in local currency) and conduct currency conversion into rubles for the gas payment. (https://tass.com/economy/1431001).

  • Russian Officials Meet with Indian Counterparts, Discuss Sanctions: During a Friday visit to India, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated that Russia may increase its transactions with India, given restrictions on other international currencies. He also stated, “I have no doubt that a way would be (found) to bypass the artificial impediments which illegal unilateral sanctions by the West create. This relates also to the area of military-technical cooperation.” (https://www.reuters.com/world/russias-lavrov-lobbies-india-after-western-emissaries-make-case-sanctions-2022-04-01/).

UPDATE

March 31, 2022

  • Russian Presidential Decree Allows Gas Payments in Non-Ruble Currencies: On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a Presidential Decree allowing foreign purchasers in “unfriendly countries” to pay for natural gas in currencies other than rubles; such transactions were prohibited beginning on April 1. The proposal allows the purchaser to set up bank accounts with designated Russian banks that will have separate accounts for non-ruble currencies and rubles, and the bank will conduct the currency conversion for the purchaser. The move comes amid reports that Italy and Germany received assurances that they could pay for gas in non-ruble currencies. (https://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory/italy-russia-seek-payment-rubles-natural-gas-83784262).

  • Russia Bars Additional EU Persons in Response to Sanctions: Russia expanded the number of persons barred from Russia for being responsible for sanctions and stoking anti-Russian feelings. This extension covers European Union officials, lawmakers, representatives from Member States, public figures and journalists. (https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/russia-bars-top-eu-officials-2022-03-31/).

  • President Zelenskyy Calles on Belgium to Stop Importing Russian Diamonds: In a speech to the Belgian parliament on Thursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged the country to stop importing Russian diamonds, saying “I think that peace has much more worth than diamonds, than the deals with Russia, than the Russian boats in the ports, more than the Russian oil and gas. So help us.” (https://www.politico.eu/article/zelenskyy-to-belgium-value-peace-over-russian-diamonds/).

UPDATE

March 30, 2022

  • Duma Speaker Calls for More Exports to be Paid in Rubles: Writing on his Telegram channel on Wednesday, Vyacheslav Volodin, Speaker of the Russian State Duma, called on Russia to expand the list of Russian-made goods exported for rubles. His proposed list was “fertilizers, grain, oil, petroleum, coal, metals and lumber.” Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov commented on the proposal later in the day, saying “it is quite feasible.” Peskov also noted that Russia is looking to expand its use of alternative national currencies in settlements with foreign nations in the same statement. (https://tass.com/economy/1429503;https://tass.com/economy/1429781).  

  • Rusal States Sanctions May Hurt Profits: In a Wednesday statement, Rusal announced, “The company may potentially face difficulties in supply of equipment, which may lead to the postponement of investment projects.” Citing sanctions as the reason for future difficulties, Rusal specifically mentioned Australia’s ban on alumina exports and the need to replace loans in foreign currency with debt in roubles as restrictions that are particularly concerning for the company’s future operations. (https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/rusal-says-russia-sanctions-may-delay-projects-hit-profits-2022-03-30/).

UPDATE

March 28, 2022

  • Russian Parallel Payment System Holds, Despite Sanctions: Though major credit card companies Visa and Mastercard announced they were suspending operations in Russia earlier this month, Russian citizens are still able to conduct day to day transactions, even on cards branded as Visa and Mastercard. Russia’s National Payment Card system has continued operations, despite western sanctions. Russian Visa and Mastercard cards do not work outside of Russia, and are not able to withdraw cash. (https://www.wsj.com/articles/russia-built-parallel-payments-system-that-escaped-western-sanctions-11648510735).

UPDATE

March 28, 2022

  • Russia to Restrict Entry Into Russia of Citizens from Hostile Countries: In a press statement on March 28, Foreign Minister Lavrov announced that President Putin was working on a presidential decree to restrict entry into Russia for citizens of “unfriendly countries.” In addition, Foreign Minister Lavrov announced that citizens of third countries located in Ukraine may enter Russia with reduced visa restrictions. (https://tass.com/politics/1428413).

  • Russia Responds to Refusal to Pay for Russian Gas in Rubles: As G7 countries announce their refusal to pay for Russian gas in rubles, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a Monday press conference that Russia “will definitely not supply gas for free” to countries that refuse to pay in rubles. He did not elaborate on Russia’s policy response to the announcement, saying “issues should be sorted out as they develop.” (https://tass.com/politics/1428229).

  • More Media Outlets in Russia Restricted:Independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta announced that it would be suspending publication until the end of the war in Ukraine. The paper’s editorial board stated that it had received threats from Russian communications regulator Roskomnadzor after independent journalists conducted an interview with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. In addition, the Russian Ministry of Justice has put German newspaper Deutsche Welle on its registry of foreign mass media outlets “performing the function of a foreign agent.” The move follows Germany’s decision to suspend RT’s license, and Russian agencies plan on shutting down Deutsche Welle’s office in Moscow and suspending credentials of Deutsche Welle’s Russian staff. (https://www.cnn.com/2022/03/28/media/novaya-gazeta-russia-ukraine/index.htmlhttps://tass.com/politics/1428317).

UPDATE

March 27, 2022

  • Russia Prohibits Distribution of Zelenskyy Interview: Russian communications regulator Roskomnadzor issued a warning to Russian media outlets telling them to not air a recent interview that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy held with various Russian news outlets. (https://tass.com/world/1428013).  

  • Russia Blocks Access to German Newspaper Bild: On Sunday, Russian communications regulator Roskomnadzor announced that it was blocking access to the German tabloid Bild based on a request from prosecutors on March 26. It is not immediately clear why Russian prosecutors asked for the restriction, but Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov refuted a March 18 report from Bild that stated his plane turned around and returned to Moscow during a planned trip to China. (https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/russia-restricts-access-germanys-bild-website-2022-03-27/).

UPDATE

March 26, 2022

  • Russia Criticizes President Biden’s Speech: In a statement to the TASS news agency, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that President Biden’s “personal insults” toward Russian President Vladimir Putin “narrow the window of opportunity for our bilateral relations under the current [US] Administration.” The remarks are likely referring to President Biden’s comments calling President Putin a “butcher” while meeting with Ukrainian refugees in Poland. (https://tass.com/politics/1427819).

UPDATE

March 25, 2022

UPDATE

March 24, 2022

  • President Zelenskyy Calls on G7 to Impose Full Embargo, Block Russian Central Bank: In a televised address to today’s G7 meeting, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged the member countries to impose a “full embargo” on Russia. He also urged the countries to block Russian access to GPS technology, which would greatly reduce the Russian military’s ability to target weapons. Finally, he stated that Russian banks, including the Russian Central Bank, should be fully blocked from the international financial system. (https://www.ukrinform.net/rubric-ato/3438878-zelensky-calls-on-g7-countries-to-disconnect-russia-from-gps-and-block-all-banks.html).

  • Russian Stock Exchange Reopens Under Significant Restrictions: After a month-long closure, the Russian stock exchange partially reopened on Thursday. Investors were allowed to buy and sell shares of 33 companies, including Gazprom, Lukoil, VTB Bank, Sberbank, Rusal and Rosneft. Foreign investors were not allowed to trade on the market. (https://www.cnn.com/2022/03/24/investing/russia-stocks-market/index.html).  

UPDATE

March 23, 2022

  • Putin Requires Gas Payments to be in Rubles: During a televised government meeting on Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia will only accept payments in Rubles for gas deliveries to “unfriendly countries.” He added that Russia will continue to supply gas internationally in accordance with previously executed contracts. Russia’s list of unfriendly countries includes the US and the EU. (https://tass.com/economy/1426397).  

  • Zelenskyy Urges Japan to Impose More Sanctions: Continuing his tour of foreign legislatures, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the Japanese parliament on Wednesday. He thanked Japan for being “the first nation in Asia that started piling pressure on Russia,” and urged the country to impose more sanctions on Russia. (https://www.rfi.fr/en/zelensky-slams-un-urges-reform-in-address-to-japan).

  • Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Greece Agree on Increased Sanctions: After a call with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendas, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted that the two “agreed that sanctions on Russia must be further elevated.” (https://twitter.com/dmytrokuleba?s=11).

UPDATE

March 22, 2022

  • Ukrainian Prime Minister Urges Italy to Impose More Sanctions on Russia: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke at the Italian parliament on Tuesday, urging Italy to not welcome Russian oligarchs, adding “We must freeze them all: freeze their properties, their accounts, their yachts, from Scheherazade to the smallest. We must freeze the assets of all those in Russia who have the power to make decisions.” (https://www.barrons.com/news/zelensky-urges-italy-not-to-let-elite-russians-party-01647956707).

UPDATE

March 21, 2022

  • Ukrainian Foreign Minister Expects Sanctions on Companies Operating in Russia as Soon as Next Week: In a Facebook Live address, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba announced that he had been working with his counterparts in other nations to sanction companies that continue to operate in Russia. He cited Nestle, Danone, and Unilever as corporations with continued operations in Russia that could be targeted. He said these sanctions could be issued as early as next week. (https://www.ukrinform.net/rubric-polytics/3435382-new-sanctions-against-russia-expected-next-week-kuleba.html).

  • Russia Suspends Peace Talks with Japan Over Sanctions: On Monday, Russia announced that it was suspending peace talks with Japan over disputed territory in the Kuril Islands due to Japanese sanctions on Russia. The two countries have not formally ended World War II hostilities due to the dispute over the islands. The statement also ended visa-free travel to Japan by Russian citizens and announced the end of all joint Russian-Japanese business projects in the Kuril Islands. (https://www.reuters.com/world/russia-halts-japan-peace-treaty-talks-over-sanctions-2022-03-21/).

  • Russia Threatens to Suspend Relations with US Over President Biden Comments: The Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement on March 21 stating that it had asked US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan to meet with the Ministry to discuss recent statements by President Biden calling Russian President Vladimir Putin a “war criminal.” The statement called the remarks “unacceptable,” adding that they have “put Russian-American relations on the verge of rupture.” (https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-putin-war-criminal-sullivan/31763562.html).

UPDATE

March 20, 2022

  • Moscow Exchange Issues License for Transactions with “Unfriendly Countries”: On Sunday, the Bank of Russia issued a license permitting foreign nationals from “unfriendly countries” to allow certain transactions related to dealings entered into prior to February 28. The permitted transactions allow foreign nationals to wind down those business operations in Russia. (https://tass.com/economy/1424669).

  • Ukrainian President Urges Israel to Sanction Russia: In a Sunday speech to the Israeli Knesset, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked the country to impose sanctions on Russia similar to those implemented by the US and EU. President Zelenskyy said, “Why has Israel refrained from sanctions on Russia? Israel needs to give answers to these questions and after that, live with them.” President Zelenskyy also asked for Israel to supply Ukraine with missile defense systems. (https://thehill.com/policy/international/europe/598963-zelensky-presses-israel-on-response-to-russia-in-speech-to).

UPDATE

March 19, 2022

  • Former Russian President Predicts No Economic Collapse: Former President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev, currently the Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council, stated in a Saturday interview that the Russian economy will not collapse as a result of international sanctions. He noted that previous sanctions on Russia had prepared the country to develop domestic industry. (https://tass.com/economy/1424583).  

UPDATE

March 18, 2022

UPDATE

March 17, 2022

  • Putin Acknowledges Impact of Sanctions: In remarks on Wednesday evening, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that the Russian economy will need “deep structural changes” in the new, sanctions-heavy environment. He promised western countries that stayed in Russia “additional opportunities for development” to avoid future departures. He also promised to increase payments to pensioners and state employees, a minimum wage hike, and financial assistance to businesses to counter the pain of sanctions in the country. (https://www.wsj.com/articles/putin-acknowledges-impact-of-sanctions-on-russian-economy-11647462258).

  • Koch Industries Remaining in Russia: Koch Industries, the second-largest privately owned business in America, announced that it would not be suspending business in Russia. Koch’s operations in Russia primarily consists of an industrial glass manufacturing plant, and does not make up a substantial portion of Koch’s business. (https://www.cbsnews.com/news/koch-industries-russia-ukraine-sanctions/).

  • Ukrainian Foreign Minister Continues to Call for Multinational Corporations to Leave Russia: On Thursday, Ukrainian Prime Minister Dmytro Kuleba continued his calls for major corporations to cease business in Russia. He specifically identified Nestle in a Tweet, saying that, by not leaving Russia, the company “allows Russia’s war of aggression in Europe to continue,” adding, “long-term damage to the company’s reputation is proportionate to the scale of Russian war crimes in Ukraine.” (https://twitter.com/DmytroKuleba/status/1504557484186509321?s=20&t=H9Znx19GnuI6U6hF_7F3KA) (Warning: graphic image).

UPDATE

March 16, 2022

  • President Zelenskyy Calls on US Congress for More Sanctions: In his address to the US Congress today, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said “new sanctions are needed constantly, every week until the Russian military machine stops.” He suggested sanctions on “all politicians in the Russian Federation who remain in their offices and do not cut ties with those who are responsible for the aggression against Ukraine from the state Duma members upwards.” He also urged American companies to leave Russia. (https://qz.com/2142992/transcript-of-volodymyr-zelenskyys-speech-to-the-us-congress/).

  • Russia to Impose Sanctions on “Unfriendly” Leaders: Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the media that Russia intends to impose “personal sanctions” on the leaders of unfriendly countries. The announcement comes after Russia imposed sanctions on a number of US and Canadian officials. Russia’s list of unfriendly countries includes the US, Canada, the EU countries, Britain (including Jersey, Anguilla, British Virgin Islands and Gibraltar), Ukraine, Montenegro, Albania, Andorra, Iceland, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, North Macedonia, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Micronesia, New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan. (https://tass.com/politics/1422907).

  • Fitch Downgrades Russian Banks: Fitch Ratings said on Wednesday it had downgraded 31 Russian banks’ Long-Term Foreign Currency (LTFC) Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) to ‘CC’ from ‘B’ and removed them from Rating Watch Negative (RWN). Among the impacted banks are Raiffeisenbank, Gazprombank, Alfa Bank, Sberbank, and Tinkoff Bank. (https://tass.com/economy/1422651).

UPDATE

March 15, 2022

  • Russia Sanctions International Leaders: Russia placed US President Joe Biden, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, CIA Chief William Burns, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on a so-called “stop list,” which would block them from entering Russia. (https://www.reuters.com/world/russia-bars-entry-biden-canadas-trudeau-2022-03-15/).

  • Russia’s Largest Party To Introduce Sanctions Blocking Legislation to Criminalize Compliance with Western Sanctions.  Russia’s largest political party (and party of President Putin) is drafting legislation for consideration in the Federal Assembly to criminalize compliance with Western sanctions.  Although details regarding the proposed scope of prohibited conduct and range of penalty exposure are yet to be finalized, party leadership has suggested the legislation would include both corporate and individual liability for implementing Western sanctions.  ( https://www.pravda.com.ua/eng/news/2022/03/14/7331377/ ).

UPDATE

March 14, 2022

  • Meta Revises Policies After Prosecution in Russia: On Monday, Meta announced that it was clarifying its speech policies related to Russia and Ukraine, saying that its guidance is “never to be interpreted as condoning violence against Russians in general” and does not “permit calls to assassinate a head of state.” The move comes after Russia announced a criminal investigation into Meta last week for its relaxed hate speech policies related to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. (https://www.reuters.com/technology/meta-narrows-guidance-restrict-calls-death-head-state-2022-03-14/).

UPDATE

March 13, 2022

  • Russia Reports Half of Foreign Exchange Reserves Frozen: In a Sunday interview, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov confirmed that $300 billion of Russia’s gold and currency reserves are frozen due to international sanctions. Russia currently has about $640 billion in reserves. Some of the unfrozen assets remain in Chinese yuan, despite international pressure on China; Minister Siluanov expressed confidence that Russia and China had built up enough of a relationship to allow continued access to these reserves. (https://tass.com/economy/1421403).

  • Russia Blocks Access to Instagram: On Sunday, the Roskomnadzor, the Russian state media regulator, announced that it would be suspending access to Instagram in the country beginning at midnight Sunday night. The announcement said that the ban was implemented to “ensure the psychological health of citizens, especially children and adolescents, to protect them from harassment and insults online,” but comes days after Russia initiated a criminal investigation into Meta, Facebook’s parent company, for its policy allowing Ukrainians to express resistance toward Russia. (https://www.cnn.com/2022/03/13/tech/instagram-russia-midnight/index.html).

UPDATE

March 12, 2022

UPDATE

March 11, 2022

  • Russia Considers Legalizing Software Piracy: The Russian government is reportedly considering a plan that would create a “compulsory licensing mechanism for software, databases, and technology for integrated microcircuits” to use intellectual property from companies based in countries that have imposed sanctions on Russia. Functionally, this would allow Russian users to use intellectual property from these firms without the owner’s permission. Any legislation or regulation in this space is in discussion stages. (https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2022/03/russia-mulls-legalizing-software-piracy-as-its-cut-off-from-western-tech/).

  • Russia Prosecuting Meta for Hate Speech, Restricts Access to Instagram: Russian prosecutors opened a criminal case against US social media platform Meta for hate speech. The move comes after Meta changed its hate speech rules to allow for users to call for “death to the Russian invaders” in response to the invasion of Ukraine. Meta also owns Instagram; Russian communications regulators are also restricting access to that social media platform, according to a Friday statement. (https://www.reuters.com/world/kremlin-says-meta-would-have-cease-work-russia-if-reuters-report-is-true-2022-03-11/).

UPDATE

March 10, 2022

UPDATE

March 09, 2022

  • Kremlin’s Spokesperson Threatens Retaliation But Excludes Energy Export Ban: in an interview for TASS, Dmitry Peskov hinted at potential retaliatory measures, although he declined to provide details. He was however quoted saying that “Russia was, is and will continue to be a reliable guarantor of energy security not only of the European continent, but also of the world level.” (https://tass.ru/ekonomika/14009631).

  • Central Bank of Russia Restricts Withdrawal from Accounts in Foreign Currencies: the Central Bank of Russia announced that, from March 9 to September 9, 2022, withdrawals from foreign currency accounts or deposits were capped at $10,000 (and only USD would be issued, regardless of the currency of the account), with any additional withdrawal being only permitted in rubles at market rates. (https://www.cbr.ru/press/event/?id=12738).

UPDATE

March 08, 2022

UPDATE

March 07, 2022

  •  Russia Releases “Unfriendly Countries” List: On Monday, Russia released a list of “unfriendly countries,” based on their actions sanctioning Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. The listed countries are Australia, Albania, Andorra, United Kingdom, including Jersey, Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Gibraltar, the member states of the European Union, Iceland, Canada, Liechtenstein, Micronesia, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Republic of Korea, San Marino, North Macedonia, Singapore, the United States, Taiwan, Ukraine, Montenegro, Switzerland, and Japan. The list impacts several new Russian policies:

    o  Any Russian debtor holding a loan valued at greater than 10 million Rubles originating from a company in any of the listed countries may meet their obligations through payments in Rubles (http://en.kremlin.ru/acts/news/67912).

    o  Any Russian business transaction with a company headquartered in any of these countries must get the transaction cleared by the Commission for Control of Foreign Investments (https://www.newsweek.com/russia-list-unfriendly-countries-1685468).

  • Ukrainian FM States US Pressure Increasing on Russia: After a call with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted “the pressure will be getting higher” on Russia if military hostilities do not stop.

UPDATE

March 06, 2022

  • Ukrainian Foreign Minister Meets with US Counterpart, Calls for Continued Sanctions: On Saturday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba met on the Poland/Ukraine border. After thanking the US for the support already provided, Foreign Minister Kuleba urged the international community to continue “bold, systemic decisions to step up economic and political pressure” on Russia. He added that, if the rest of the world experiences “sanctions fatigue,” Ukrainians will suffer. (https://www.state.gov/secretary-antony-j-blinken-and-ukrainian-foreign-minister-dmytro-kuleba-at-a-joint-press-availability-3/).

  • Kuleba Calls for More Restrictions in Evening Address: In a publicly televised address on Saturday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba urged international counterparts to impose new restrictions on Russia. His recommendations “include, among others, banning the Russians bank Sberbank from SWIFT, closing European ports for Russian ships, closing access of Russia to cryptocurrency and stopping purchases of Russian oil.” (https://www.cnn.com/europe/live-news/ukraine-russia-putin-news-03-05-22/h_544e23df2663474a3273ba3936a70f40).

  • Kuleba Calls out Shell for Buying Russian Oil: Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba continued his calls to stop the purchase of Russian oil. He directly discussed rumors that Shell had purchased Russian oil discreetly, urging “conscious people around the globe to demand multinational companies to cut all business ties with Russia.”

UPDATE

March 04, 2022

UPDATE

March 03, 2022

UPDATE

March 02, 2022

  • Zelenskyy Chief of Staff Pushes for More Russia Sanctions: In a March 2 New York Times op-ed, Head of the Presidential Office in Ukraine Andriy Yermak called on “Western allies and partners to make the costs unbearable for Russia now.” He specifically asked for all Russian banks to be cut off from SWIFT, sanctions on every Russian oligarch, and a full embargo, including oil and gas, from Russia to the United States and Europe. (https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/02/opinion/ukraine-russia-war-zelensky.html?referringSource=articleShare).

  • Ukrainian Foreign Minister and Counterparts Discuss Additional Sanctions: Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba had calls with his counterparts in the US, UK, and South Korea today. With the UK and US, he “coordinated” new sanctions efforts against Russia. For South Korea, he confirmed that South Korea “plans to take an active part” in sanctions on Russia.

  • Ukraine Seeks to Remove Russia from the Internet: The Ukrainian representative to ICANN, the international nonprofit that oversees internet domain names and IP addresses, Andrii Nabok sent a letter to the organization requesting that it revoke the country code .ru and its Cyrillic equivalents. He sent a similar request to the European and Central Asian regional internet registries, as well. This would effectively sever Russia’s connection to the internet. (https://www.cnn.com/2022/03/02/tech/ukraine-russia-internet/index.html).

UPDATE

March 01, 2022

  • Ukrainian Officials Call for Increased Sanctions: Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba continued his Twitter campaign to increase sanctions on Russia, calling on the world to “isolate Russia fully” after overnight missile strikes in Kharkiv. After a call with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Foreign Minister Kuleba said that Secretary Blinken “assured” him that more sanctions and weapons were coming from the United States.

UPDATE

February 28, 2022

  • Russia Closes Airspace to 36 Countries: In response to airspace bans to Russian aircraft, the Russian civil aviation authority announced that it had closed airspace to airlines from the following countries: Albania, Anguilla, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, British Virgin Islands, Germany, Gibraltar, Hungary, Greece, Denmark, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Jersey, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. (https://www.reuters.com/business/aerospace-defense/russia-imposes-sweeping-flight-bans-airlines-36-countries-2022-02-28/).

UPDATE

February 27, 2022

  • Ukrainian Foreign Minister Hints at More Sanctions: In a Sunday tweet, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that he discussed “painful new sanctions” on Russia in a meeting with G7 Foreign Ministers.

UPDATE

February 26, 2022

UPDATE

February 25, 2022

  • Ukrainian President Seeks “Strengthened” Sanctions: In a series of Friday tweets, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that he met with leadership in the UK, Finland, the EU, and Sweden, thanking them for military and humanitarian support already provided and calling for “strengthened” sanctions on Russia.  
  • Russia Preparing Retaliatory Sanctions Package: Speaker of the Russian Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko stated that the country has prepared a sanctions package, including a “series of possible restrictions to be applied to the states that have declared sanctions on Russia.” She did not provide further detail on the sanctions. (https://www.rferl.org/a/kazakhstan-russia-mishustin-toqaev-trade/31722721.html). 

UPDATE

February 24, 2022

    • Ukraine Calls for Coordinated International Response: In a tweet from Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine urged the international community to (i) impose “devastating” sanctions on Russia, including banning Russia from the SWIFT international payment system; (ii) providing weapons to Ukraine; and (iii) providing financial and humanitarian assistance to the country.

    • Putin Threatens Retaliation: In a televised statement, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned other countries to not interfere in Ukraine, saying “whoever tries to impede us, let alone create threats for our country and its people, must know that the Russian response will be immediate and lead to the consequences you have never seen in history.” He added that Russia is “one of the most potent nuclear powers and also has a certain edge in a range of state-of-the-art weapons.” (https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-europe-russia-moscow-kyiv-626a8c5ec22217bacb24ece60fac4fe1)

February 23, 2022

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