UK Ambassador to OSCE Condemns Russian Attacks on Civilian Infrastructure, Calls for International War Crimes Investigation and Continued G7 Sanctions: In an statement to OSCE on May 12, 2022, the Ambassador Neil Bush condemned Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine and promised the UK would “continue to do everything we can to ensure Ukraine succeeds”, citing the G7’s tightening of sanctions. (https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/russian-attack-on-ukraines-civilian-infrastructure-and-cultural-property-uk-statement-to-the-osce).
Shell Selling Part of Russia Business to Lukoil as Part of Multi-Billion Dollar Exit From Market: British energy giant Shell has announced plans to sell some of its Russian business, primarily retail, to Lukoil on Thursday. The sale will cover 411 retail gas stations and a lubricant blending plant in Torzhok, northwest of Moscow. (https://www.bbc.com/news/business-61424715).
UK Secretary of Defence Says in the Long Run Russia Has “Lost”: The UK Secretary of Defence, Ben Wallace, told reporters that Russia will emerge from the war as a “lesser” power, “especially as sanctions hinder Russia’s ability to import Western technology needed for much of its military equipment.” Wallace reiterated the UK’s policy to ensure that Russia is defeated in the war in Ukraine. (https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/long-run-putin-lost-uk-defense-secretary-says-rcna28280).
Major Donation to the UK’s Conservative Party Flagged Over Russia Concerns: One of the biggest donors to Britain’s Conservative Party is reportedly suspected of secretly funnelling $630,225 to the party from a Russian account. The cash was part of a fund-raising blitz that helped propel Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s party to victory in 2019. (https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/12/world/europe/russian-money-uk-tories.html).
Oligarch Vladmir Potanin is Still Not Sanctionedby UK, EU or US: Vladmir Potanin, a metals tycoon with close ties to the Kremlin, has not been hit with sanctions by the UK, EU or US. Norilsk Nickel, the Siberian miner that makes up the bulk of his $33.6bn fortune produces 15% of the world’s high-grade nickel used in batteries and 40% of its palladium. Hitting the company with sanctions could make the markets for both metals collapse. Potanin has, however, been sanctioned by Canada and Australia. (https://www.ft.com/content/50a48889-189f-4994-a5c6-8e725e9dfe57).
Imports From Russia Fell by More Than Two Thirds After Invasion of Ukraine: The Office for National Statistics show that the value of imports from Russia fell by around 70% from £1.8 billion in February to £545 million in March 2022. (https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/nationalaccounts/balanceofpayments/timeseries/erec/mret)
OFSI Creates Page for Expired General Licenses: The UK’s OFSI has created a page listing general licences that have now expired. These include general licenses relating to Credit Bank of Moscow, the Central Bank of the Russian Federation and Sberbank. (https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/expired-general-licences#full-publication-update-history)
UK Regulatory Policy Committee (RPC) Publishes Opinion on Russian Sanctions: The RPC, an advisory public body that assesses regulatory proposals, has published an opinion on the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office’s (FCDO) impact assessment of Russian sanctions. The RPC opinion says that the sanctions are fit for purpose and proportionate. However, it requests further detail on how the FCDO intends to monitor and evaluate the impacts on business. (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1074098/2022-05-05-RPC-FCDO-5185_1__-_Russia_Sanctions_regulations_Amendment__no.8_.pdf)
UK and Sweden Say Relations with Putin Can Never be Normalised: On May 9, 2022, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said on that relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin can never be normalised following the invasion of Ukraine. (https://www.zawya.com/en/special-coverage/russia-ukraine-crisis/uk-and-sweden-say-relations-with-putin-can-never-be-normalised-dylwnlex)
VTB Bank’s Guernsey Affiliate Placed into Administration: Guernsey’s financial regulator has conditionally placed a local affiliate of VTB Bank into administration. Guernsey-registered VTBC Asset Management International is an indirect subsidiary of VTB Bank, which is majority owned by the Russian state through various state departments. The UK, US and EU have all added VTB Bank to their Sanctions Lists. (https://globalrestructuringreview.com/article/vtb-banks-guernsey-affiliate-placed-administration-amid-russia-sanctions-concerns
New Economic Crime Bill Announced in the Queen’s Speech: On May 10, 2022, in the Queen’s Speech (which was delivered by HRH The Prince of Wales) it was announced that a new economic crime bill will be brought forward by the UK Government to further strengthen powers to tackle illicit finance and reduce economic crime. The new bill is expected to further strengthen the effectiveness of sanctions by increasing visibility into corporate ownership. (https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/queens-speech-2022).
UK Government Holds Russia Responsible for February 24 Viasat Cyber Attack: On May 10, 2022, the UK, EU, US and allies announced that Russia is responsible for a series of cyber-attacks since the renewed of Ukraine. This included a cyber-attack against Viasat on February 24, appropriately one house before Russia laundered its major invasion of Ukraine. Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss, said the UK “will continue to call out Russia’s malign behaviour and unprovoked aggression across land, sea and cyberspace, and ensure it faces severe consequences.” (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/russia-behind-cyber-attack-with-europe-wide-impact-an-hour-before-ukraine-invasion).
UK to Target £1.7 Billion of Russian and Belarussian Goods in New Round of Sanctions: The UK has announced import tariffs on Russia and Belarussian goods worth £1.4 billion, including precious metals such as platinum and palladium. The UK will also impose export bans worth more than £250 million target Russia’s manufacturing and heavy machinery sectors, including key materials such as chemicals, plastics, rubber, and machinery. (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-punishes-putin-with-new-round-of-sanctions-on-17-billion-of-goods).
Tax Loophole Impeding Sanctions: Efforts to stop sanctioned Russian money flowing into the UK are being hampered by a tax loophole that allows individuals to withhold details of their assets or income from authorities. The loophole allows individuals to not submit a tax return if they claim non-domiciled status and have no UK income.(https://www.independent.co.uk/politics/ghost-dom-tax-sanctions-russia-b2074680.html).
OFSI Amends 88 Entries on the UK Sanctions List: On May 9, 2022, the UK’s OFSI amended 88 entries on the UK sanctions list. (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1073978/Notice_Russia_090522.pdf).
UK Foreign Minister Pledges Unwavering Support for Ukraine: In a statement ahead of Victory Day the UK’s Foreign Minister, Liz Truss, said it is “imperative for us all to support Ukraine unwaveringly” and “now is not the time for complacency”, citing the sanctions the UK has imposed against Russia. (https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/we-cannot-allow-putins-vanity-to-prolong-this-senseless-war).
Russian Oligarch Roman Abramovich Sells Chelsea Football Club: On May 7, 2022, Chelsea FC announced it would be sold to a consortium of investors led by Todd Boehly. The club’s previous owner, Roman Abramovich, is currently sanctioned by the UK due to his close relationship with Putin. (https://www.rferl.org/a/chelsea-sold-abramovich-us-investors/31838620.html).
UK Promises Additional $1.6 Billion in Military Assistance to Ukraine: In advance of the G7 meeting on May 8, the UK Treasury announced that it is providing an additional 1.3 billion pounds ($1.6 billion USD) in military assistance to Ukraine. The announcement doubles the UK’s military assistance spending for Ukraine, and will come from a reserve used for government emergencies. (https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/uk-provide-13-billion-pounds-further-military-support-ukraine-2022-05-07/).
British Ambassador to Ireland Calls for Tougher Sanctions on Russia: The British Ambassador to Ireland gave a lecture at University College Cork on Europe’s changing security landscape. He called for tougher sanctions on Russia, specifically a ban on Russian oil and gas imports. (https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/landscape-with-ruins-reflections-on-european-security).
Russian Foreign Ministry Summons UK Ambassador Over Media Sanctions: The Russian foreign ministry summoned Deborah Bronnert, Britain’s ambassador to Russia, to strongly protest new UK sanctions on Russian media. The ministry said Russia would continue react “harshly and decisively” to all sanctions imposed by London. (https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/russian-foreign-ministry-summons-uk-ambassador-over-media-sanctions-2022-05-06/).
UK Announces Further £45 million in aid for Ukraine: In a statement by Ambassador Barbara Woodward at the UN Security Council meeting on Ukraine on May 6, 2022, the UK announced a further £45 million for humanitarian and UN organisations to support the vulnerable people of Ukraine and provide medical equipment. (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-provides-further-humanitarian-aid-focused-on-most-vulnerable-in-ukraine).
Russian-Linked Luxury Yacht Maker Faces Supply Issues: The Dutch luxury yacht maker, Heesen Yachts, is facing supply issues as after UK sanctions targeted one of its ultimate owners, Vagit Alekperov. Suppliers including Rolls Royce Holdings Plc no longer supply the company, due to its links to sanctioned individuals. (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-05-06/luxury-yachtmaker-linked-to-russian-billionaire-hits-supply-snag).
OFSI Adds Steelmaker, Evraz PLC, to the UK Sanctions List: On May 5, 2022, OFSI sanctioned Evraz plc, a major manufacturer of Russian steel. Evraz plc’s core operations are in Russia where they are a major employer. (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/russia-uk-sanctions-major-manufacturer-of-russian-steel).
OFSI Issues General Licence relating to Evraz PLC: Under the new General Licence (INT/2022/1710676), a person may continue business operations involving the North American Subsidiaries of Evraz in relation to, amongst other things, payments under any obligations or contracts; payments to or from any third party under any obligations or contracts; and receipt of payments for audit services. Evraz North America plc is also permitted to pay for the audit services referred to in the previous sentence. The General Licence expires on September 2, 2022. (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1073553/GL_INT20221710676_Evraz.pdf)
Shell Reports $3.9 Billion Charge on Russian Business Despite Strong First Quarter: On Thursday, British energy company Shell stated that it took a $3.9 billion post tax charge related to its decision to exit Russia. Overall business was strong, with the company reporting a $5 billion profit on the heels of rising global energy prices. This is a larger profit than the same period last year, which was $4.3 billion. (https://www.wsj.com/articles/shell-takes-3-9-billion-charge-related-to-russia-exit-11651733170?mod=livecoverage_web).
Shell CEO Says It Is Not Possible To Trace Russian Crude Refined Overseas: The CEO of Shell Ben Van Beurden told shareholders in a Thursday call that the world does not have the tools to trace Russian oil if the oil is further refined overseas. (https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/shell-ceo-no-way-trace-russian-crude-refined-overseas-2022-05-05/).
UK Cuts Off Service Exports to Russia: The UK’s Foreign Secretary Liz Truss announced a ban on services exports. The new measures will mean Russia’s businesses can no longer benefit from the UK’s world class accountancy, management consultancy, and PR services, which account for 10 percent of Russian imports in these sectors. This includes the so-called Big Four accounting and consultancy firms – Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC. Law firms will still be able to service Russian clients. (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/russia-cut-off-from-uk-services)
63 Entries Added to the UK Sanctions List Targeting Media Organisations: On May 4, 2022, OFSI added an additional 63 entities and individuals to the UK Sanctions List. Many of these entries are actors and organisations from mainstream media organisations, including Evgeny Poddubny, a war correspondent for the All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company; Alexander Kots, a war correspondent for Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda; All Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting, a major state-owned broadcaster; and InfoRos, a news agency alleged to have links to Russian intelligence agencies. (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1073146/Notice_Russia_040522_1.pdf)
Prime Minster Boris Johnson Claims West “Too Slow” to Impose Sanctions in Speech to Ukrainian Parliament: On Tuesday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the Ukrainianparliament via video, the first world leader to do so since the start of the invasion. The Prime Minister said that Ukraine’s allies “cannot make the same mistake” they did when Russia invaded Crimea, adding that the West had been “too slow to grasp what was really happening” and “failed” to collectively impose sanctions against Vladimir Putin. He used the address to highlight a 300 million pound military assistance package the UK was sending to Ukraine. (https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-61297478).
British Components Found in Russian Weapons According to Report, Despite 2014 Arms Embargo: A report by the Royal United Services Institute (Rusi) found that a number of Russian weapons systems recovered from the battlefield had British-made components despite the UK introducing an arms embargo against Russia in 2014. The UK is set to launch an inquiry to investigate the claims. (https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2022/may/02/uk-inquiry-british-made-components-russian-weapons-ukraine).
BP Takes $25.5 Billion Pretax Charge due to Russia Departure: On Tuesday, BP announced that it had taken a $25.5 billion pretax charge due to its decision to exit its Russian holdings, including its stake in Rosneft. Despite the charge, BP’s performance beat analyst expectations, largely due to strong results in its energy trading business and high energy prices worldwide. (https://www.wsj.com/articles/bp-to-take-25-5-billion-hit-from-russia-exit-11651559671?mod=livecoverage_web).
Pelagic Trawler in UK Calls for Action Over Russian Factory Ships: The Altaire, a local pelagic trawler in the UK, is urging the UK Government to act over Russian factory ships fishing for blue whiting in UK waters around 100 miles off the coast. This is the latest attempt by the industry to get the government to close a loophole that enables Russian vessels to fish inside UK waters. (https://www.shetnews.co.uk/2022/05/02/boris-wheres-your-russian-sanctions-asks-altaire-skipper/).
UK Anti-Corruption Sanctions Regime Accused of Failures: A report by the UK Anti-Corruption Coalition found the effectiveness of UK anti-corruption sanctions had been “undermined by a lack of designations [against individuals and companies] . . . insufficient co-ordination and information sharing [between countries] . . . and limitations in enforcement and implementation”. (https://www.ft.com/content/d598b3b2-ad4b-43de-80b9-38ecfde31bbf).
UK Financial Conduct Authority Considers Side-Pockets for Ukraine-Impacted Funds: The UK Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) has asked for industry feedback on its proposals to create “side pockets” in funds, which would allow fund managers to separate Russian and Belarusian assets from the funds’ other core investments. This would stop funds with exposure to Russia and Belarus from being suspended. (https://www.ftadviser.com/fca/2022/04/28/fca-consults-on-side-pockets-for-ukraine-impacted-funds/).
Russians Looking to Swap UK Real Estate for UAE properties: Wealthy Russians are trying to swap their luxury properties in London for multimillion-pound homes in Dubai as they seek innovative ways to circumvent financial restrictions. (https://www.ft.com/content/72549746-f46f-4b91-a588-576dd928e362).
UK Has Imported More Than 130,000 Tons of Coal Since Start of War: Two consignments of Russian coal totalling more than 130,000 tons have been sent from a bulk terminal near St Petersburg to the Lincolnshire port of Immingham by Germany-based energy giant Uniper. (https://inews.co.uk/news/uk-power-plant-owner-imported-russian-coal-ukraine-invasion-1602848).
o Western Insurers Cut Cover for Sovcomflot Fleet: Western shipping insurers are terminating coverage for Russia’s leading shipping company Sovcomflot, adding to the growing challenges for the state-owned company and Moscow’s efforts to export oil and gas. (https://www.marinelink.com/news/sanctions-tighten-screws-russias-496177).
Roman Abramovich’s Superyacht Fleet is Set to be Banned From the Seas: Roman Abramovich’s superyacht fleet, currently anchored in Turkey, faces being impounded “imminently” as Bermudan authorities prepare to withdraw the flag they sail under. Contractors are also refusing to carry out routine maintenance, which mean the ships are unable to refuel and frustrated staff are going unpaid. (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10769383/Roman-Abramovichs-superyacht-fleet-set-banned-seas.html).
UK Remains “World Leader” in Hiding Dirty Money: Bill Browder, a top sanctions expert, has said Britain remains the “world leader” in hiding dirty money despite recent efforts to crack down on oligarchs’ illicit wealth. The expert urged the UK Government to bring in a law to tackle oligarchs’ London “enablers.” (https://www.independent.co.uk/independentpremium/uk-news/russia-dirty-money-uk-bill-browder-b2069541.html).
Kazakhstan Summons UK Ambassador Over Lawmaker’s Call For Sanctions: After a UK Member of Parliament (MP), Margaret Hodge, asked British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss if sanctions could be imposed on Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan for their so-called support of Putin and his policies, Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry has summoned the British ambassador to Kazakhstan for an explanation. (https://www.rferl.org/a/kazakhstan-uk-sanctions-russia/31732834.html)
UK’s Internet-Related Russia Sanctions Come Into Force: The UK’s trade sanctions on Russia related to internet based products come into force on April 29, 2022. They introduce new trade sanctions that require social media platforms, internet access services and application stores to take steps to prevent UK-based users from coming into contact with a designated persons/entities. (https://www.europeansanctions.com/2022/04/uk-introduces-internet-related-russia-trade-sanctions)
UK MP Responds to Russia Sanctioning 287 British Members of Parliament (MPs): In a letter to His Excellency Ambassador Andrei Kelin, UK MP, Justin Madders, responded to Russia after 287 British MPs were sanctioned. Madders requested evidence to support Russian assertions, as well as formal written confirmation of the process, terms and duration of the sanctions reported to have been imposed on himself. (https://www.chesterstandard.co.uk/news/20103840.justin-madders-mp-responds-russian-ban-uk-politicians)
UK, Switzerland Release Joint Statement on Situation in Ukraine: After Prime Minister Boris Johnson met with Swiss President Ignazio Cassis on Thursday, the Prime Minister’s office released a joint statement on the situation in Ukraine. The statement condemns Russian aggression in Ukraine, and notes, “we will continue to exchange experiences and best practices with regard to the implementation of our respective sanctions regimes.” (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1072033/UK-Swiss_Joint_Declaration_Final.docx.pdf).
OFSI Issues New General Licence Relating to Law Enforcement and Regulatory Authorities Asset Recovery: On April 27, 2022, the UK OFSI issued a new general licence (General Licence INT/2022/1679676). This licence permits an officer of a Non-Crown Relevant Organisation to carry out their duties in relation to sanctioned individuals and entities for Asset Recovery Purposes. This includes giving effect to a negotiated settlement, to which a sanctioned individual is party and approving a deferred prosecution agreement. The licence is of indefinite duration. (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1071873/GL_INT20221679676_notice.pdf).
UK Imported 1.9 Million Barrels of Russian Oil Since Ukraine Invasion: According to analysis published by Greenpeace on Wednesday, the UK has imported 1.9 million barrels of oil, valued at 220 million pounds, since the start of the war in Ukraine. The shipments came into the country on eight tankers. The UK has promised to end imports of Russian oil by the end of the year. (https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/news/uk-russia-oil-ukraine-war-greenpeace-b2066346.html).
UK Introduces New Trade Measures to Support Ukraine: On April 25, 2022, the UK announced that it will cut tariffs on all goods from Ukraine to zero and will remove all quotas under the free trade agreement. The UK will also introduce a new export ban on products and technology that Russia could use in its war, which could possibly include interception and monitoring equipment. (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-announces-new-trade-measures-to-support-ukraine).
197 Entries on the UK Sanctions List Amended:OFSI has amended 197 entries on the UK Sanctions List, to reflect the reasons for adding the entries to the list. All entries are still subject to asset freezes. (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1071326/Notice_Russia_260422.pdf).
UK Updates List of Sanctioned Dual-Use Control Items: The UK’s Export Control Joint Unit has updated its list of dual-use controlled items which are subject to Russian sanctions to reflect the changes previously agreed in the international export control regimes. The consolidated list has not yet been updated. (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/notice-to-exporters-202216-updated-list-of-dual-use-controlled-items/nte-202216-updated-list-of-dual-use-controlled-items).
UK and US Ready to Increase Economic Pressure on Russia: In a joint statement on April 26, 2022, the UK Secretary of State for International Trade, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, and US Trade Representative Ambassador, Katherine Tai, announced that they are prepared to increase the economic pressure on Russia to bring an end to the war. They also pledged to “encourage other international partners, including the G7 and other WTO Members, to take action in support of Ukraine’s economic recovery”. (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/joint-statement-on-uk-us-dialogue-on-future-of-atlantic-trade-in-aberdeen).
UK Foreign Minister Calls for More Russian Sanctions: On April 26, 2022, the UK’s Foreign Secretary Liz Truss made an oral statement in Parliament, where she promised to continue increasing pressure on Russia and called for a “new wave of sanctions”. (https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/foreign-secretary-opens-debate-on-the-situation-ukraine).
Lloyds of London Cautions Against Introducing Marine Insurance Sanctions on Russia: A Lloyds executive told the UK Government that sanctions might not be effective while other G20 countries remain divided on Russian energy exports. (https://www.tradewindsnews.com/insurance/lloyd-s-executive-urges-caution-on-marine-insurance-sanctions-against-russia/2-1-1207249).
UK Implements Trade Sanctions Announced Last Week: On April 25, 2022, the UK Government implemented trade sanctions announced last week by the International Trade Secretary, including import bans on silver, wood and high-end products like caviar and new tariffs on Russian rubber products and diamonds. (https://www.tyrepress.com/2022/04/uk-government-blocks-russian-and-belarussian-tyre-rubber-product-imports-with-35-tariff-increase/;https://www.european-rubber-journal.com/article/2091286/uk-imposes-35-tariffs-on-russian-rubber-product-imports).
UK Parliament Considering Impact of Potential Insurance Sanctions and Additional Measures Against Russia: The UK House of Commons Treasury Committee met today to discuss the effectiveness and potential impact of imposing insurance sanctions and potential additional measures against Russian. (https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/158/treasury-committee/news/166004/treasury-committee-explores-further-economic-sanctions-on-russia/).
Commons Treasury Committee Told Sanctions Have “Profound” Effect on London Insurers: At a committee meeting on April 25, 2022, the Commons Treasury Committee heard from insurance, economic and finance experts on how Russia’s economy but also London’s insurance sector have been impacted by UK Sanctions. “The impact on Russia — difficult to say: the impact on the U.K. insurance market — profound.” (https://www.law360.com/articles/1486814/russia-sanctions-effect-on-uk-insurers-profound-mps-told).
Russian Gold Miner Polymetal Delays Projects Due To Sanctions: Polymetal, Russia’s second largest gold producer, said it had rationalised its investment plans, with the result that its POX-2 project, a processing plant in Russia, will face a six-month delay due to supply chain challenges. (https://uk.sports.yahoo.com/news/gold-miner-polymetal-delays-projects-080226980.html)
Russian Sanctions Set to Cost UK Economy £6.2bn: The UK economy is set to take a £6.2bn hit from the sanctions issued against Russia in the wake of its war in Ukraine. Official analysis of the trade measures issued earlier this month has found the restrictions will deal a multi-billion pound blow to the economy over the next nine years. (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2022/04/24/russian-sanctions-set-cost-uk-economy-6bn-nine-years/).
UK Pressures France and Germany to “Do More” to Help Ukraine: UK cabinet minister Oliver Dowden has pressured France and Germany to “do more” to help Ukraine as MPs condemn Paris and Berlin for selling £230m of arms to Russia despite an EU ban imposed after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10748433/Cabinet-minister-Oliver-Dowden-pressures-France-Germany-increase-help-Ukraine.html).
UK Considers Opening Coal Mine In Cumbria To Reduce Dependence On Russian Imports: In an attempt to phase out dependence on Russian gas, the United Kingdom for the first time in three decades is considering opening its coal mine in Cumbria. (https://www.republicworld.com/world-news/uk-news/uk-considers-opening-coal-mine-in-cumbria-to-reduce-dependence-on-russian-imports-articleshow.html).
OFSI Amends General License Relating to Certain Russian Banks: On April 22, 2022, OFSI amended general license INT/2022/1280876 relating to certain basic needs, routine holding and maintenance, and the payment of legal fees and insolvency related payments to include Sberbank CIB (UK) Ltd. Under the general license, VTB Capital plc, Sberbank CIB (UK) Ltd and their UK-incorporated owned or controlled subsidiaries caninter alia pay their basic needs expenses, pay reasonable fees or services charges relating to routine holding and maintenance and make payment of reasonable professional fees for the provision of legal services. (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1070607/INT.2022.1280876_GL.pdf).
Charity Commission Suspends Trustee of World Holocaust Foundation: On April 22, 2022, the UK’s Charity Commission announced that it has opened an inquiry into the World Holocaust Forum Foundation, after one of its trustees, Dr. Viatcheslav Kantor was sanctioned by the UK Government. (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/commission-suspends-sanctioned-trustee-of-world-holocaust-forum-foundation).
House of Commons Publishes Research Briefing on Russian Energy Imports: On April 22, 2022, the UK Parliament published a research briefing on energy imports from Russia. Among other things, the briefing found that imports of Russian gas made up 4% of UK supply in 2021. Oil and coal were higher at 9% and 22%. (https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-9523/).
UK Government to Re-open British Embassy in Kyiv: The UK Government has announced that it will shortly re-open the British Embassy in Kyiv. The embassy was forced to temporarily close in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/ukraine-uk-government-to-re-open-british-embassy-in-kyiv).
UK Announces Further Import Sanctions Against Russia: The UK has expanded the list of products facing import bans and increasing tariffs. From April 21, 2022, the import bans now include bans on silver, wood products and high-end products from Russia including caviar. The UK has also increased tariffs by 35% on around £130m worth of products from Russia and Belarus, including diamonds and rubber. (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-announces-further-import-sanctions-against-russia).
OFSI Adds 26 New Entries to the UK Sanctions List: On April 21, 2022, OFSI added 26 new entries to the UK Sanctions list in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The new entries largely target members of the Russian Military including Lt Col Azatbek Omurbekov, known as the Butcher of Bucha; Colonel General Andrey Serdyukov, the commander of Airborne Forces; and, Major General Valery Flyustikov, Commander of Special Operations Forces. The sanctions also include companies that supply the Russian military, such as JSC Kalashnikov Concern, a Russian developer and manufacturer of army Russian equipment; GTLK, Russia’s largest leasing company which operates in different types of transport and special equipment for Russian companies in the transport industry; and, JSC ARZ MACHINEBUILDING PLANT, part of a Military Industrial Company which manufactures the BTR-80 amphibious armoured personnel carriers. (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1070063/Notice_Russia_210422.pdf).
OFSI Publishes General License relating to Gazprombank Gas Transactions: On April 21, 2022, OFSI issued general license INT/2022/1630477 to allow payments to Gazprombank or a Subsidiary for the purpose of making gas available in the European Union. The general license expires on May 31, 2022. (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1070506/GENERAL_LICENCE_Gazprombank_21.04.22.pdf).
OFSI Amends General License Relating to Certain Russian Banks: On April 21, 2022, OFSI amended general license INT/2022/1424276 relating to Alfa Bank JSC, Gazprombank, Rosselkhozbank, SMP Bank and the Ural Bank for Reconstruction and Development. In particular, OFSI made the following clarification: “Regarding whether funds owed by the DPs ought to be placed into a blocked account, General Licence INT/2022/1424276 does not contain a requirement that funds becoming payable to the DPs as a necessary part of a person winding down any transactions they have with the DPs be paid into a frozen account. With regard to funds becoming payable to any subsidiary of the DPs as a necessary part of a person winding down any transactions they have with those subsidiaries needing to be paid into a frozen account, OFSI does not provide legal advice but without prejudice to that we suggest you consider how the ownership and control provisions in the Russia Regulations could apply to such payment.” The general license expires on April 23, 2022. (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1070502/GL_INT20221424276_notice.pdf).
UK Treasury Committee to Explore Further Economic Sanctions on Russia: The UK Parliament’s Treasury Committee will question insurance, finance and foreign policy experts on the effectiveness of economic sanctions on Russia on April 25, 2022. The potential for further sanctions on Russian banks and payments is also likely to be investigated. (https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/158/treasury-committee/news/166004/treasury-committee-explores-further-economic-sanctions-on-russia/).
UK Department for Transport Confirm Superyacht Crew are Not Caught by Sanctions:On April 21, 2022, the UK Department for Transport confirmed to Nautilus International that seafarers are not within scope of the sanctions regulations that the UK government is applying to Russian superyachts. (https://www.superyachtnews.com/operations/dft-confirm-superyacht-crew-do-not-fall-under-sanctions).
Boris Johnson Will Not Pressure India on Sanctions During Visit: Speaking to reports during a two-day visit to India, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed that he raised the issue of sanctions on Russia and Ukraine during his visit, but he stated, “India and Russia have historically had a very different relationship than Russia and the UK have had over the last couple of decades. We have to reflect that reality.” He also praised Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statements condemning atrocities in Bucha, Ukraine. (https://www.cnn.com/europe/live-news/ukraine-russia-putin-news-04-21-22/h_aa235eaafdc170ab7935a62784ce3127).
UK Allegedly Plans to Impose Further Russia Defense Sanctions This Week: Bloomberg has reported that the UK plans to introduce new targets against defense companies, the military and Russian tycoons later this week. (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-04-20/u-k-plans-to-impose-further-russia-defense-sanctions-this-week).
Wimbledon Bans Russian and Belarusian Players: On Wednesday, the All England Lawn Tennis Club announced that it would ban Russian Belarusian tennis players from this year’s Wimbledon tournament in response to the invasion of Ukraine. The Club stated that its goal was to “limit Russia’s global influence through the strongest means possible.” The announcement means that the world’s second-ranked tennis player Daniil Medvedev cannot participate in the tournament, along with 11 other Russian and Belarusian players in the top 30 men’s and top 40 women’s tennis players worldwide. (https://www.cnn.com/2022/04/20/tennis/kremlin-wimbledon-russian-players-ban-spt-intl/index.html).
UK to Revoke Moscow Stock Exchange’s Recognized Status: On April 19, 2022, the UK’s HM Revenue & Customs announced its intention to revoke the Moscow Stock Exchange’s (“MOEX”) status as a recognized stock exchange. This means investors will not be able to access certain UK tax benefits in future when trading securities on MOEX, although existing investments will be protected. (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-to-revoke-moscow-stock-exchanges-recognised-status).
Jet Company Sues UniCredit For $46M Over Sberbank Guarantee: Irish commercial jet firm Celestial Aviation Services Ltd. has sued UniCredit for $46 million in outstanding payments for some plane leasing agreements Celestial Aviation guaranteed for Sberbank, saying that the payment would not breach UK sanctions imposed on Russia for the invasion of Ukraine. (https://www.law360.com/financial-services-uk/articles/1481534/jet-co-sues-unicredit-for-46m-over-sberbank-guarantee).
UK and US Urged to Impose Travel Bans on British Lawyers Accused of ‘Enabling’ Russian Oligarchs: Lawmakers from the UK and US, UK Member of Parliament Liam Byrne MP and US Representative Steve Cohen (D-TN), urged their governments to impose travel bans on lawyers who had represented oligarchs. (https://www.businessinsider.com/uk-us-lawmakers-call-travel-ban-russia-oligarch-enabler-lawyers-2022-4?r=US&IR=T)
Sanctioned Russian Oligarchs Linked to £800m Worth of UK Property: An investigation carried out by the BBC has shown that a dozen sanctioned Russians are linked to an estimated £800m worth of property in the UK. This includes the £230 million property empire of Roman Abramovich. (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-61080536).
Prime Minister, President Zelenskyy Discuss Security Assistance and Sanctions: On Saturday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy held a phone call. The two discussed security assistance to Ukraine, and the Prime Minister “updated President Zelenskyy on new sanctions from the UK that came into force last week, and said the UK would continue to provide the means for Ukraine to defend itself.” (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/pm-call-with-president-zelenskyy-of-ukraine-16-april-2022).
UK Polls Indicate Rising Fuel Prices Begin to Erode Popular Support for Russian Sanctions: Polls carried out on the UK public in April have shown the rising cost of living is outweighing concern for the war in Ukraine. The proportion of people willing to accept higher fuel prices in the UK has now dropped from 50 percent in March to 34 percent in April. (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/04/16/public-support-russian-sanctions-dwindles-cost-living-crisis/).
UK Shadow Foreign Secretary Calls for New Laws Targeting Proxies: The Labour party’s shadow foreign secretary, David Lammy, called for the UK to introduce a law targeting proxies used by oligarchs to shield their wealth. The move would prevent Kremlin-linked individuals transferring their money through companies.
OFSI has Added Two Individuals to the UK Sanctions List: On April 14, 2022, the UK added Chelsea FC’s director, Eugene Tenenbaum, and close associate of Roman Abramovich, David Davidovich, to the UK Sanctions List. It is estimated the move has frozen assets estimated to be worth up to £10 billion, the largest asset freeze action in UK history.
UK Introduces New Sanctions on Luxury Goods, and Iron and Steel Products: The UK Parliament adopted new rules on April 14, 2022, prohibiting:
o the export of luxury goods to, or for use in, Russia. A person must not directly or indirectly—
– supply or deliver luxury goods from a third country to a place in Russia;
– make luxury goods available to a person connected with Russia;
– make luxury goods available for use in Russia.
o the import of iron and steel products which are consigned from Russia;
o the import of iron and steel products which originate in Russia.
o the direct or indirect acquisition of iron and steel products –
– which originate in Russia;
– which are located in Russia (https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2022/452/contents/made).
London-Listed Petropavlovsk Plc Considering Sale of Business: Russian gold producer, Petropavlovsk Plc, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, said on April 14, 2022, that it was considering the sale of the business, as Russian sanctions have left the group struggling to refinance its debt.
UK Court Vacates Trial Where Defendant is a Subsidiary of Sanctioned Russian Entity: A UK court vacated a nine-week trial listed to start in October 2022 where the defendants’ ultimate parent company was a Russian sanctioned entity. The result in Maroil Trading Inc v Cally Shipholdings Inc  4 WLUK 144 was that it was unlawful for the defendants to pay the fees of their legal representatives and experts.
OFSI Introduces 206 New Sanctions Listing: On April 13, 2022, the UK imposed asset freeze sanctions on 206 individuals, including the CEO of Lukoil, Vagit Alekperov, and 178 individuals who were involved in propping up the self-proclaimed republics in Luhansk and Donetsk.
UK Announces Secondary Legislation Relating to Steel, Iron and Luxury Goods: On April 13, 2022, the UK announced that it will lay secondary legislation on Thursday to introduce a ban on the import of steel and iron products from and export of quantum technologies, advanced materials and luxury goods to Russia. (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-sanctions-178-russian-separatists-in-breakaway-regions).
Abramovich Hit by Multibillion-Pound Crackdown on Assets in Jersey and France:Roman Abramovich has had more than £5.4bn of his assets frozen in Jersey and 12 luxury properties – including a £90 million villa on the Riviera. (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/apr/13/jersey-freezes-54bn-of-assets-linked-to-roman-abramovich)
OFSI Revokes General Licence Relating to GEFCO: As Russian Railways has now sold its stake in GEFCO to non-designated persons, GEFCO is no longer impacted by UK sanctions, so the corresponding general licence (INT/2022/1438977) has been revoked. The sale took place on April 8, 2022 (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1068828/INT.2022.1438977__GL.pdf).
UK Says ‘All Options Are on the Table’ if Russia Uses Chemical Weapons in Ukraine: British Armed Forces Minister, James Heappey, promised all options would be “on the table” in how the West would respond to Russia using chemical weapons in Ukraine (https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/all-options-table-if-russia-uses-chemical-weapons-ukraine-uk-minister-2022-04-12/).
UK, US Agree to “Ratchet Up” Sanctions on Russia: In a Tuesday call, US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson discussed the conflict in Ukraine. Regarding sanctions, “the pair agreed to continue joint efforts to ratchet up the economic pressure on Putin and decisively end Western reliance on Russian oil and gas.” (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/pm-call-with-president-biden-12-april-2022).
UK Could Sanction Russian Generals and Troops: On April 10, 2022, UK Policing Minister Kit Malthouse suggested that the UK could start targeting Russian troops and generals suspected of committing war crimes in Ukraine with sanctions. (https://www.theguardian.com/law/2022/apr/10/uk-target-russian-generals-and-troops-sanctions).
Russian Sanctions May Affect National Lottery: Allwyn Entertainment, which has won the contract to run the UK National Lottery from 2024 has links to Russian gas giant Gazprom. On April 11, 2022, the UK Parliament questioned the suitability of the company for the position.
OFSI Amends General License on Vessels to Include Aircraft and Airplane Engines: OFSI’s general trade license (NTE 2022/13) relating to vessels (which provides regulation on the provision of technical assistance, financial services and funds, and brokering services, related to vessels) has been amended to include aircraft, airplane engines, and the provision of insurance services relating to aviation within the scope of the license.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson Pledges to “Ratchet Up” Sanctions: During a previously unannounced visit to Kyiv on April 9, 2022, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that countries supporting Ukraine following its invasion by Russia would continue to tighten the economic sanctions on Moscow “not just freezing assets in banks and sanctioning oligarchs, but moving away from use of Russian hydrocarbons.”
UK Sanctions Three More Individuals: On April 8, 2022, the UK imposed asset freezes on three more individuals, the daughters of President Vladimir Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov: Katerina Vladimirovna Tikhonova, Maria Vladimirovna Vorontsova and Yekaterina Sergeyevna Vinokurova. (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1067418/Notice_Russia_080422.pdf).
Over £275 Billion of Russian Reserves Are Currently Frozen: The UK’s government analysis shows more than £275 billion – 60% of Russian foreign currency reserves – have been frozen by co-ordinated UK and international sanctions in recent weeks. The analysis estimates for Russia’s GDP growth in 2022 now range from -8.5% to -15%, (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-sanctions-target-the-lavish-lifestyles-of-putins-daughters).
Sanctioned Russian Billionaires Look to Sell Two UK Fintechs: FIBR Tech Ltd., an online lender to businesses, and ANNA Money, which offers business accounts and administrative services, began searches for buyers in recent weeks after indirect shareholders including Mikhail Fridman and Petr Aven were hit by sanctions. They are exploring sale options after sanctions on their Russian billionaire backers have left them struggling to find funding. (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-04-08/sanctioned-russian-billionaires-look-to-exit-two-u-k-fintechs).
UK Delays Tariffs on Russian Whitefish: Plans to impose sanctions and a 35% tariff on Russian whitefish have been postponed by the UK government amid fears over the impact on Britain’s seafood industry. Roughly 30% of the UK’s whitefish originates from Russia. A UK government official said the sanctions have been delayed but stressed that they were “totally committed to them.” (https://www.politico.eu/article/uk-delays-tariffs-on-russia-whitefish-fisheries-seafood-industry-trade-agriculture/).
UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Introduces Strategy to Enforce Sanctions: The FCA has overhauled its approach to policing British markets amid growing threats of scams, consumer harm and Russia sanctions avoidance. It has committed to hiring 80 new staff to identify non-compliant firms, as well as employ more data analysis and IT capability to detect help money laundering and sanctions evasion.
UK Imposes 10 New Sanctions Designations:On April 6, 2022, OFSI imposed asset freeze sanctions on two entities and eight individuals. The entities are the Credit Bank of Moscow and PJSC Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank. The Individuals include Leonid Mikhelson, CEO of leading Russian natural gas producer Novatek, Andrey Akimov, CEO of Gazprombank and Viatcheslav Kantor, the largest shareholder of fertilizer company Acron. (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1066934/Notice_Russia_060422.pdf).
OFSI Issues New General License Relating to Bank of Moscow: On April 6, 2022, OFSI issued a new general license (INT/2022/1544176) which allows for a 30-day wind down period of positions involving Credit Bank of Moscow or one of its subsidiaries. A person can carry out any activity reasonably necessary to effect this. The general license expires on May 6, 2022. (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1066997/INT20221544176_gl.pdf).
OFSI Amends General License Relating to Sberbank: On April 6, 2022, general license (INT/2022/1277877) was amended. Now that Sberbank is subject to an asset freeze, the amendment ensures that the general license in respect of energy related payments may continue to be used. The general license expires on June 24, 2022. (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1066993/GL_INT.2022.1277877.pdf).
UK Bans All New Outward Investment to Russia: In a statement on April 6, 2022, the UK’s Foreign Secretary Liz Truss announced a ban on all UK direct investment in Russia. In 2020, UK investment in Russia was worth over £11bn. This will be another major hit to the Russian economy and further limit their future capabilities. (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-imposes-sweeping-new-sanctions-to-starve-putins-war-machine).
UK Bans Import of Iron and Steel Products: On April 6, 2022, Liz Truss announced a ban on imports of iron and steel products, a key source of revenue for Russia. This is a move against key Russian strategic industries and state owned enterprises. (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-imposes-sweeping-new-sanctions-to-starve-putins-war-machine).
UK Aims to End All Dependency on Russian Coal and Oil by End of 2022 and Will ban Export of Oil Refining Equipment by Next Week: On April 6, 2022, Liz Truss promised that, by the end of 2022, the UK will end all dependency on Russian coal and oil, and end imports of gas as soon as possible thereafter. From next week, the export of key oil refining equipment and catalysts will also be banned, degrading Russia’s ability to produce and export oil. (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-imposes-sweeping-new-sanctions-to-starve-putins-war-machine).
UK’s Trade Remedies Authority Launches Review of Steel Tariff Quotas for Imports from Russia and Belarus: On April 6, 2022, the Trade Remedies Authority (“TRA”) initiated a Tariff Rate Quota (TRQ) review of steel imports that are part of the UK’s safeguard trade remedy measure. The TRA will assess whether the tariff rate quotas for Russia and Belarus should be re-allocated to avoid a potential shortage of steel in the UK. (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-launches-review-of-steel-tariff-quotas-for-imports-from-russia-and-belarus).
UK Arm of Russian Bank VTB Prepares to Enter Administration: A UK High Court decision on April 6, 2022, declared that the British unit of Russian bank VTB will be placed in administration in the coming days, subject to a licence being granted to do so by United States sanctions authorities. The decision comes after VTB Capital plc was unable to operate and pay its debts due to sanctions imposed on the bank. (https://www.reuters.com/business/finance/vtbs-uk-arm-poised-enter-administration-2022-04-06/).
OFSI amends VTB general license: On April 1, 2022, OFSI amended General Licence INT/2022/1280876 to allow any payments in connection with the insolvency proceedings of the UK subsidiary of VTB. Any person, including any subsidiary of VTB incorporated in the UK, may make, receive or process any payments, or take any other action, in connection with any Insolvency Proceedings relating to the UK Subsidiary. The general license expires on April 3, 2023. (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1066072/INT.2022.1280876_GL.pdf).
OFSI amends Russian Railways general license: On April 4, 2022, OFSI amended general license INT/2022/1438977 to permit persons or a relevant institution to process payments or transactions related to the sale and transfer of the shares held by Russian Railways in GEFCO, a joint venture owned by Russian Railways and Stellantis, and GEFCO’s subsidiaries. The general license expires on May 23, 2022. (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1066361/INT.2022.1438977_GL_publication_notice.pdf).
Liz Truss Calls For a “Maximum Approach to Sanctions”: In a speech at the British Embassy in Poland, Liz Truss promised to pursue further sanctions, including “banning Russian ships from our ports, in cracking down on Russian banks, in going after new industries filling Putin’s war chest like gold, and agreeing a clear timetable to eliminate our imports of Russian oil, gas and coal.”
UK Foreign Minister Liz Truss to Visit Poland and Call for Tougher Sanctions: UK Foreign Minister Truss will travel to Poland on April 4, 2022, to see the Ukrainian and Polish Foreign Ministers ahead of G7 and NATO talks in Brussels later this week. Truss will call for tougher sanctions against Russia to cripple its war machine and to support Ukraine including in peace negotiations. (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/foreign-secretary-to-visit-poland-to-call-for-tougher-action-to-tackle-russian-aggression).
UK Government’s Regulatory Policy Committee (RPC) Publishes Opinion on Russian Financial Sanctions: On April 1, 2022, UK’s RPC submitted an opinion on the application of financial sanctions (relating to the securities and money-market instruments, sovereign debt and correspondent banking and sterling payments) on the Russian Federation. While the cost-benefit analysis of the sanctions was considered satisfactory, the rationale and options were considered weak. (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1066145/2022-04-01-RPC-FCDO-5166_1__-_Russia_Sanctions__no.2__-_Finance.pdf).
Abramovich-Linked Yacht Leaves Turkish Port Run by UK-Listed Group: A yacht reportedly owned by sanctioned individual, Roman Abramovich has left a port in Turkey after the port operator, Global Ports Holding, was at risk of violating UK sanctions. Global Ports Holding, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange would not take berthing fees from the vessel in an attempt to protect itself from the accusation of accepting funds from an individual or entity under sanctions. (https://www.ft.com/content/a9589574-49e4-4654-bf45-f53d090a7024).
Russian Lender, VTB, Unable to Pay London Rent: Russia’s second-largest lender, VTB, has been blocked from making rent payments for its City of London offices. The banking system will not allow money to move from a Russian bank to a British bank without a licence, leaving the rent unpaid until the licence is processed. (https://www.ft.com/content/fa8e858c-5a9d-498d-8ab6-b27c36712dfa).
UK Receives Diesel Delivery From Russia: On April 2, 2022, a tanker carrying 33,000 tons of Russian diesel delivered its cargo in Essex. The delivery did not fall foul of UK sanctions, but highlights the UK’s dependence on Russian diesel. Russia supplies nearly a fifth of the UK’s diesel, despite pledges from the UK to stop importing Russian hydrocarbons by the end of the year (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-60948439).
UK Pledges to “Step Up” Sanctions: In a statement made on April 3, 2022, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the UK is “stepping up our sanctions and military support, as well as bolstering our humanitarian support to help those in need on the ground.” In a separate statement on April 3, 2022, the UK Foreign Minister, Liz Truss, said it is “essential” that the international community to “step up sanctions to cut off funding for Putin’s war machine at source” (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/prime-ministers-statement-on-ukraine-3-april-2022;https://www.gov.uk/government/news/foreign-secretary-statement-on-appalling-acts-by-russian-invading-forces).
UK-listed Evraz Abandons Coal Assets Demerger After Russia Sanctions: Russian steelmaker Evraz, whose biggest shareholder is sanctioned billionaire Roman Abramovich, on Friday, April 1, scrapped plans to separate its coal assets, citing sanctions on Moscow following its invasion of Ukraine. The London-listed company said the sanctions made it “technically impossible” to execute the demerger it proposed early last year to concentrate on its core steel business. (https://www.rappler.com/business/uk-listed-evraz-abandons-coal-assets-demerger-after-russia-sanctions/).
UK Prevents Use of Private Jet Linked to Russian Oligarchs: UK Transport Minister, Grant Shapps, has said he has prevented the use of another private jet that has links to Russian oligarchs. The aircraft will remain at the airport while officials investigate further whether it falls under the recent sanctions legislation banning all aircraft connected with Russia, after its invasion of Ukraine. (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/apr/02/uk-prevents-use-of-private-jet-linked-to-russian-oligarchs).
UK Sanctions on Gazprombank Impact Shell Transactions: In a statement to reporters on April 2, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated that the UK’s sanctions on Gazprombank are hindering Shell’s ability to buy energy products from Russia. Russia has designated Gazprombank as a bank where customers from “unfriendly countries” can set up accounts to exchange non-ruble currencies to rubles for energy transactions; UK sanctions would block customers from creating such accounts, according to Peskov’s allegations. (https://tass.com/economy/1431389).
UK Issues General License Authorizing Certain Payments by the Central Bank of Russia, the National Wealth Fund, and the Ministry of Finance: On April 1, 2022, the UK’s Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (“OFSI”) issued a new general license (INT/2022/1495176) that authorizes the provision of financial services relating to non-rouble denominated interest/coupon or maturity/principal payments from the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, or the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation in connection with debt issued by them before March 1, 2022. The general license expires on June 30, 2022. (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1065790/INT.2022.1495176.pdf).
Sberbank’s UK Arm Faces Collapse Amid Russia Sanctions: The UK arm of Russia’s biggest lender Sberbank of Russia PJSC is facing collapse, becoming London’s highest profile financial casualty in the aftermath of the invasion of Ukraine. According to reports, the directors of Sberbank CIB U.K. Ltd. are applying for special administration, a form of insolvency that means the administrator ensures there’s minimal disruption to financial markets as a result of a firm’s collapse. (https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2022/4/1/sberbanks-uk-arm-faces-collapse-amid-russia-sanctions).
UK Sanctions Russian Media Outlets and Military Figures: On March 31, 2022, OFSI designated 17 more individuals and entities as asset freeze targets. The targets include the state-owned companies that control RT and Sputnik, TV anchor Sergey Brilev, the heads of RT and Sputnik, and Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev. (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/foreign-secretary-announces-sanctions-on-putins-propaganda–2;https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1065135/Notice_Russia_310322.pdf;https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1065607/Notice_Russia__310322.pdf)
OFSI Updates Russia Sanctions Guidance on Sanctions to Extend Territory of Prohibitions: OFSI updated its guidance on sanctions on Russia to extend prohibitions to non-government controlled Ukrainian territory. (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1065259/Russia_guidance_31.03.22.pdf).
Russian Oligarchs’ Jets Appear to Continue Flying Despite Sanctions: A UK investigation identified and tracked jets linked to sanctioned businesspeople and officials including Roman Abramovich, Alisher Usmanov and Igor Shuvalov, a former Russian deputy prime minister, that appeared to continue flying into and out of EU and UK airports despite flight bans and sanctions imposed.
Sanctions Causing Disruption in Seafood Industry: The worldwide seafood industry is steeling itself for price hikes, supply disruptions and potential job losses as new rounds of economic sanctions on Russia make key species such as cod and crab harder to come by. (https://www.independent.co.uk/news/russia-ap-maine-portland-ed-markey-b2047850.html).
UK Banks Tell Government that Caps on All Russian Savers is Illegal: Banks in Britain have warned the UK Government that a plan to ban all Russians from holding more than £50,000 in their accounts is illegal and unworkable. (https://www.reuters.com/business/finance/exclusive-banks-tell-britain-that-curb-all-russian-savers-wont-work-sources-2022-03-31/).
UK Tightens Sanctions Targeting Russians’ Jets and Yachts and Extends Sanctions to Donetsk and Luhansk: On March 30, 2022, the UK Government introduced new legislation that prohibits maintenance on aircraft or ships belonging to sanctioned Russian oligarchs or their businesses. Staff and crew who work on yachts or planes owned by Russian oligarchs could also face UK sanctions under a move by the Foreign Office to extend the penalties. The finance, trade and shipping sanctions imposed on Crimea have been extended to non-government controlled territory in Donetsk and Luhansk. (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/oligarchs-aircraft-and-ships-targeted-through-new-legal-powers; https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2022/395/contents/made).
OFSI Amends Two Entries on the Russia and Belarus Sanctions List: On March 30, 2022, the UK Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) amended the Sanctions List entries relating to OJSC KB Radar-Managing Company Holding Radar System and Sergey Pavlovich Ivanov. A duplicate entry relating to Aleksander Aleksandrovich Mikheev was also removed.
UK Department for International Trade Issues Notice to Importers Prohibiting Russian Imports: Notice to Importers 2953 was issued on March 30, 2022, by the Department for International Trade. The notice provides an overview of the import prohibitions in force on certain goods imported into the UK that have originated in or have been consigned from the Russian Federation and non-government controlled Ukrainian territory. The notice also sets out the licensing process for traders looking to import goods subject to prohibitions.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson Calls for Tougher Sanctions on Russia Until it Withdraws All Troops From Ukraine: At a hearing in the UK Parliament on March 30, 2022, the UK Prime Minister told lawmakers that to lift G7 sanctions in return for a Russian ceasefire in Ukraine would go “straight into (Vladimir) Putin’s playbook“. Boris Johnson called for a tightening of sanctions until all Russian troops have been withdrawn from Ukraine.
UK Confirms Sanctions Do Not Apply to VR Transpoint: VR Group, the government-owned railway company of Finland, consulted with UK authorities following a decision to suspend services in light of the imposition of asset freeze restrictions on Russian Railways. The VR Group reported that it has receive clarification that the sanctions do not apply to its operations and it announced plans to restart its rails services between Finland and Russia on March 30, 2022.
Antigua Calls on UK to Verify Owner of Russian-Linked Yachts: Antigua has called on the UK government to establish whether two yachts moored in the Caribbean island are owned by a sanctions-hit Russian oligarch, Roman Abramovich. (https://www.ft.com/content/5689be14-c723-44d8-8431-f25af4ab100d).
Holland & Barrett Payment Held Up by HSBC Over Sanction Concerns: Russian-backed owners of UK healthcare company Holland & Barrett made a crucial interest payment on a €415mn loan last week. HSBC has held up the payment due to concerns about links between the UK company and sanctioned Russian oligarchs. (https://www.ft.com/content/686b7816-5046-446a-92fb-a600c5ac11c7).
Russian Oligarchs on UK Sanctions List were Granted ‘Golden Visas’: It was reported on March 30, 2022 that eight unnamed individuals, who are each now subject to UK asset freeze restrictions, were granted the right to live in the UK after promising to invest at least £2m under the controversial tier 1 investor visa scheme. (https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/mar/30/russian-oligarchs-on-uk-sanctions-list-were-granted-golden-visas).
Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) Issues New General License Relating toSovcomflot: OFSI has issued a new General Licence (INT/2022/14369378) authorizing the winding down of any transactions to which Russian shipping company, Sovcomflot or one of its subsidiaries is a party. The licence expires on May 15, 2022. (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1064308/INT2022.Sovcomflot_29.03.22.pdf).
Russian-owned Superyacht Detained in London under Russia Sanctions: The UK government announced on March 29, 2022, it has ordered its first detention of a superyacht in UK waters. The £38m vessel is owned by an unnamed Russian businessman, the ownership of which ministers said is “deliberately well hidden.” The UK Department for Transport would not comment on why it was not naming the individual who owns the yacht, however the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the individual was not currently sanctioned but had “close connections” to Russian President Vladimir Putin. (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-60912754).
UK Prime Minister States Ceasefire Would Not Be Enough to End Sanctions: A spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated that, during a cabinet meeting on March 29, 2022, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that “a ceasefire alone would not be cause for UK sanctions to be removed on Russia.” The Prime Minister added that pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin must be increased. (https://www.reuters.com/world/uk/ceasefire-alone-not-enough-lift-british-sanctions-pm-johnson-told-cabinet-2022-03-29/).
National Cybersecurity Centre Warns Against Russian Products in Supply Chain: In a blog post on March 29, 2022, the National Cybersecurity Centre urged British companies to reconsider the use of Russian IT technology in their supply chains, saying that supplying the UK with critical infrastructure technology would be considered a “win” for the Russian state. The Centre also stated that it did not expect large-scale cyberattacks on UK networks. (https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/blog-post/use-of-russian-technology-products-services-following-invasion-ukraine).
Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) Issues New General License Relating to GEFCO: On March 28, 2022, OFSI issued a new General License (INT/2022/1438977) which permits the continuation of certain business operations with GEFCO S.A. and its subsidiaries, a joint venture owned by Russian Railways and Stellantis. The subsidiaries of GEFKO S.A. include GEFCO UK Ltd, GEFCO Forwarding UK, Auto XP Limited and XP Tech Limited. Business operations include payments under any obligations or contracts and payments to or from any third party necessary to the continuation of any obligations or contracts. The General License expires on May 23, 2022. (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1063587/INT.2022.1438977__Continuation_of_Business_wth_GEFCO_general_licence.pdf).
UK Issues Guidance for Public Sector on Cutting Ties with Suppliers From Russia and Belarus: The UK government has provided a Procurement Policy Note (PPN 01/22) to public sector organisations on how contracting authorities can further cut ties with companies backed by the states of Russia and Belarus. The guidance issued today to public sector buying teams recommends that public bodies, including Government departments and hospitals, immediately seek to identify any contracts with Russian and Belarusian companies and, if possible, to switch suppliers with minimal disruption and/or to pursue legal routes to cancel such contracts. (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1063515/ppn-01-22-contracts-with-suppliers-from-russia-belarus.pdf; https://www.gov.uk/government/news/public-sector-to-investigate-cutting-contracts-with-russian-suppliers).
UK Opposition Leader, Keir Starmer, calls for Tougher Sanctions: The UK’s Opposition Leader said the UK must ‘cripple Russia’s ability to function’ with tougher sanctions and the Government “should have gone further and faster.” (https://inews.co.uk/news/politics/uk-cripple-russias-ability-to-function-ukraine-invasion-tougher-actions-1542995).
London-listed Polymetal Considers Splitting Off Russian Business: Polymetal is considering splitting its Russian business from the rest of the company in an attempt by the London-listed gold and silver miner to insulate its international business from the knock-on effects of western sanctions. Any such move would provide a strategy for other London-listed Russia-linked groups whose stock has tumbled as investors look to get out of companies that could fall foul of UK, US, or EU sanctions, or be hit by western economic and financial restrictions. (https://www.ft.com/content/9fc2c1b9-8393-444f-a673-1c24901c9986).
Prime Minister Johnson Says More Sanctions are Coming: During a Monday call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson “reiterated the UK would maintain and strengthen economic pressure on Putin’s regime,” according to an official readout of the call. (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/pm-call-with-president-zelenskyy-of-ukraine-28-march-2022).
UK Announces Research and Innovation Sanctions on Russia: On March 27, 2022, the UK announced its decision to suspend publicly funded research and innovation collaborations with Russian Universities and companies of strategic benefit to the Russian state. At the same time, the UK government unveiled a £3 million package to support Ukrainian researchers at risk. (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/research-and-innovation-sanctions-on-russia-and-support-for-ukraine).
UK Detains Two Private Jets Belonging to Russian Oligarch: On March 26, 2022, the UK government indefinitely detained two private jets belonging to sanctioned Russian oligarch Eugene Shvidler at Farnborough and Biggin Hill airports. It is a criminal offense for sanctioned plane owners to move or fly their aircraft. (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/mar/26/uk-detains-private-jets-eugene-shvidler-sanctioned-russian-oligarch).
UK Says Russian Sanctions Could be Lifted with Ukraine Withdrawal: On March 26, 2022, UK Foreign Minister Liz Truss said that sanctions imposed on Russian individuals and companies could be lifted if Russia withdraws from Ukraine and commits to end aggression. Truss said, “there needs to be hard levers. Of course, sanctions are a hard lever… Those sanctions should only come off with a full ceasefire and withdrawal, but also commitments that there will be no further aggression. And also, there’s the opportunity to have snapback sanctions if there is further aggression in future. That is a real lever that I think can be used.” (https://www.reuters.com/world/uk/uk-says-russian-sanctions-could-be-lifted-with-ukraine-withdrawal-report-2022-03-26/).
UK Foreign Secretary Promises to Impose Deeper and Broader Sanctions: On March 25, 2022, UK Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss, has promised to impose new sanctions “by zeroing in on new industries and individuals aiding and abetting the Putin regime.” Truss also confirmed the UK is working to “close loopholes and prevent others from helping Russia to evade the full might of our sanctions measures”
UK Says Gold Transactions are Included in Russia Central Bank Sanctions: On March 25, 2022, the UK updated its Russian sanctions guidance to clarify that UK companies cannot help Moscow sell off its gold reserves in an attempt to evade sanctions. This comes after the Prime Minister expressed concerns that Russia was trying to get round the sanctions using gold
Russian-focused Gold Producer Petropavlovsk Blocked from Loan Payment: The London-listed gold miner Petropavlovsk, which mines gold in Russia’s far east and has its headquarters in Moscow, said it was prohibited from making a $560,000 interest payment due on March 25, 2022, after the UK froze the assets of its main lender Gazprombank (https://www.ft.com/content/6612673b-3c08-4e03-9fdd-7cd07d5e0772).
UK Imposes 65 Further Sanctions Designations: On March 24, 2022, UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss announced 65 new sanctions, targeting strategic industries, banks and business elites. The 26 companies targeted include Russian Railways and defense company Kronshtadt, the organization Russian mercenaries reportedly tasked with assassinating President Zelenskyy, the Wagner Group, six more banks (including Alfa Bank and Gazprombank) and Alrosa, the world’s largest diamond producer. The 33 individuals targeted include the billionaire oil tycoon Eugene Shvidler, founder of Tinkoff bank, Oleg Tinkov, the CEO of Sberbank, Herman Gref, and Foreign Minister Lavrov’s step daughter, Polina Kovaleva.
OFSI Issues New General Licence Relating to Various Designated Banks: On March 24, 2022, OFSI issued a new General Licence (INT/2022/1424276) authorizing parties to wind down any transactions involving any of the following banks and their subsidiaries: Alfa Bank JSC, GazPromBank, Rosselkhozbank, SMP Bank and Ural Bank for Reconstruction and Development. A person or a relevant institution can carry out any activity reasonably necessary to effect this. The licence expires on April 23, 2022.
OFSI Issues New General Licence Relating to Bank Dabrabyt: On March 24, 2022, OFSI issued a new General Licence (INT/2022/1424277) authorizing parties to wind down any transactions involving Bank Dabrabyt Joint Stock Company or any of its subsidiaries. The general licence expires on April 23, 2022. (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1063226/INT.2022.1424277_PN.pdf).
OFSI Amends General Licence Relating to Provision of Financial Services: On March 24, 2022, OFSI amended General Licence INT/2022/1381276. The amendment clarifies that: “Under General Licence INT/2022/1381276 a Person may provide financial services for the purposes of winding down any derivatives, repurchase, and reverse repurchase transactions entered into prior to 1 March 2022 with the CBR, the NWF or the MF or those persons set out in regulation 18A d to e of the Russia Regulations. A Person or Relevant Institution can carry out any activity reasonably necessary to effect this.“
Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Issues Notice to Regulated Firms with Cryptoasset Exposure: On March 24, 2022, the FCA released guidance stating that, in addition to steps taken to identify customers and monitor transactions under the Money Laundering Regulations 2017, the financial sector, including the cryptoasset sector, must have in place appropriate systems and controls and must not interact with companies listed on the FCA’s Unregistered Cryptoasset Businesses page. (https://www.fca.org.uk/news/statements/notice-regulated-firms-exposure-cryptoassets).
Export Control Joint Unit (ECJU) Revises Open General Export Licences (OGELs) to Require Registration and Allow Exportation: The UK’s ECJU has revised six OGELs relating to the export of dual-use items, including a requirement to register before first use of certain licenses and to allow certain items to be exported from the UK following repair in the UK.
UK Issues Notice to Exporters Regarding Ukraine Strategic Export Licence Processing: On March 24, 2022, the UK Department for International Trade issued a notice stating that it has received a significant number of licence applications for Ukraine and calling for applicants to be patient with processing times. (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/notice-to-exporters-202211-ukraine-strategic-export-licences/notice-to-exporters-202211-ukraine-strategic-export-licence-processing).
UK Prime Minister Says Russia is Attempting to Circumvent Sanctions on its Gold: Following a summit of NATO and G7, the UK Prime Minister made a statement saying “On gold reserves, there is evidence that the Russians may be trying to get . . . around the sanctions on their gold.” The statement comes after agreements earlier in the day between the G7 countries to crack down on Russia’s ability to sell its gold. (https://www.ft.com/content/9a3bdc8c-0bfe-494d-a6c3-71fa5a4250d6).
Lloyd’s of London Moves to Cancel Russian Firms’ Insurance Cover: Lloyd’s of London has said it is working with the UK government to implement sanctions imposed and cancel insurance cover of Russian firms identified on UK Sanctions list.
UK Prime Minister makes promises to Ukrainian President: On March 23, 2022, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke with Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy and promised to use the G7 and NATO meetings on March 24, 2022 to increase the pressure on Vladimir Putin’s regime and work with partners to substantively increase defensive lethal aid to Ukraine. The Prime Minister also confirmed he aims to ensure President Zelenskyy is in the strongest possible position in ongoing peace talks (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/pm-call-with-president-zelenskyy-23-march-2022).
The UK Treasury Committee Warns Russian Sanctions Will Impact UK Cost of Living: On March 23, 2022, the UK Treasury Committee published a report on “Defeating Putin: The development, implementation and impact of economic sanctions on Russia.” The report warns that UK economy is “not protected from the economic consequences” of western sanctions against Russian oil and gas and that “further sanctions will lead to higher prices, with knock-on effects for households and businesses.” The report also calls for guidance issued to businesses involved in implementing sanctions to be clearer, and resources for the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation to be boosted (https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/158/treasury-committee/news/165030/treasury-committee-publishes-report-on-defeating-putin-the-development-implementation-and-impact-of-economic-sanctions-on-russia/).
UK Minister Holds Discussions on Tackling Loopholes in British Virgin Islands: A UKForeign Office representative, Amanda Milling, is holding discussions in the British Virgin Islands on how sanctions against Russian oligarchs with cash stored there can be implemented. UK sanctions laws apply in the overseas territories, and enforcement officers are supposed to have full access to registers of beneficial ownerships. However, UK tax havens may provide a loophole for those trying to escape the international clampdown (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/mar/23/uk-minister-in-bvi-for-urgent-talks-on-sanctioning-russian-oligarchs).
OFSI Updates Chelsea FC General Licence: OFSI has amended the General Licence (INT/2022/1327076) relating to Chelsea Football Club. Among other things, the club is now able to sell tickets to away games, cup matches and fixtures involving the women’s team. Proceeds from ticket sales will go directly to the Premier League and then be distributed to the relevant party (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1062878/2022_03_23_Football_Matches_publication_notice.pdf).
OFSI Updates Ownership and Control Guidance: OFSI has updated Chapter 4 of its guidance on financial sanctions in relation to ownership and control to update the rules on aggregation. The new paragraph (4.14) clarifies OFSI’s position on aggregation and states: “When making an assessment on ownership and control, OFSI would not simply aggregate different designated persons’ holdings in a company, unless, for example, the shares or rights are subject to a joint arrangement between the designated parties or one party controls the rights of another. Consequently, if each of the designated person’s holdings falls below the 50% threshold in respect of share ownership and there is no evidence of a joint arrangement or that the shares are held jointly, the company would not be directly or indirectly owned by a designated person.”(https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1062452/General_Guidance_-_UK_Financial_Sanctions.pdf)
UK Issues Wind Down General Licence for Services to Three Russian financial institutions purposes: On March 22, 2022, OFSI issued a new General Licence (INT/2022/1381276) allowing the provision of financial services to the following entities for the purpose of winding down any derivatives, repurchase, and reverse repurchase transactions entered into prior to March 1, 2022 with (i) the Central Bank of the Russian Federation; (ii) the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation; and (iii) the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation. The general licence expires on May 2, 2022 (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1062349/GENERAL_LICENCE_.pdf).
UK Prime Minister Resolves to Increase Pressure on Russia in calls with the USA, France, Germany and Italy: On March 21, 2022, the leaders of the UK, USA, France, Germany and Italy resolved to increase the pressure on Russia to halt its unprovoked invasion, including by maintaining wide-ranging and coordinated sanctions (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/pm-call-with-the-leaders-of-the-us-france-germany-and-italy-the-quint-21-march-2022).
Superyacht Belonging to Russian Oligarch Seized in Gibraltar: A £57m superyacht, Axioma, belonging to Russian Oligarch Dmitry Pumpyansky, owner and chairman of steel pipe manufacturer OAO TMK, is the latest vessel to be detained by authorities (https://news.sky.com/story/ukraine-war-russian-billionaires-yacht-detained-by-authorities-in-gibraltar-12572473).
London-listed Steelmaker Says Bond Payment Blocked over Russia Sanctions: On March 21, 2022,Evraz plc, the Russian steelmaker whose biggest shareholder is Roman Abramovich, said a bond coupon payment of nearly $19 million had not been received by its principal paying agent. It believes the block is related to the UK sanctions against Abramovich. Evraz warned that its inability to pay the coupon on a $700mn bond that matures in March 2023 could push it to default on its debt (https://www.ft.com/content/00b8e832-4a08-4f6e-9644-46b00f7e8b1d).
Oligarch Says He Ditched Mansions Before Sanctions: Russian billionaire and UK asset freeze target, Alisher Usmanov, says he no longer owns many former properties, potentially putting them beyond the reach of the law. This raises questions over the effectiveness of sanctions imposed since the invasion of Ukraine began (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-60825983).
UK Government Webinar Recording: On March 17, 2022, the UK government held a webinar briefing on UK sanctions relating to Russia. A recording of the webinar have been made available athttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbzqX4lo3NE.
Boris Johnson Urges EU to Sanction Russian Natural Gas: The UK Prime Minister has urged the EU bloc to sanction Russian natural gas as well as oil. However, the UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak believes this could throw the UK into a recession, as it could cost the UK economy £75 billion. (https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/1583810/sunak-eu-russia-sanctions-recession-putin-energy-crisis-gas-oil).
UK Government Mulls Taking Over UK Arm of Gazprom: The UK government is reportedly preparing to step in and temporarily run Russian gas giant Gazprom’s UK arm, Gazprom Marketing & Trading Retail Ltd, which supplies thousands of organizations across the UK. The company could be placed into administration in the coming days (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-60825804).
UK Chancellor Warns That Russian Sanctions do not Come Cost Free: Ahead of his Spring statement providing an update on the UK’s economy on Wednesday, the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has warned the bevy of Western sanctions on Russia do not come “cost free” (https://aboutmanchester.co.uk/sunak-warns-the-british-public-that-russian-sanctions-do-not-come-cost-free/).
UK Grounds Plane with Possible Russian Links: On March 19, 2022, the UK Secretary of State for Transport confirmed a Luxembourg registered aircraft has been impounded by the UK as authorities investigate its “possible Russian links” (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-60808690).
UK Amends Sberbank Correspondent Banking General Licence: On March 18, 2022, general licence (INT/2022/1277778) relating to correspondent banking relationships and the processing of Sterling payments in connection with Sberbank was amended to authorise UK credit/financial institutions to continue a trade relationship with Sberbank or a UK or non-UK credit/financial institution which is owned or controlled directly or indirectly by Sberbank (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1060446/GL_INT20221277778_110322.pdf).
UK Detains Yachts Over Suspected Links to Oligarchs, Turns Away Ships Linked to Russia: On March 17, 2022, the UK Transport Secretary told the House of Commons that ten Russian-linked ships have been turned away or redirected on their course, and eight ships or their companies have severed their Russian ties following efforts to clamp down on Russian interests in the UK (https://www.businessinsider.com/oligarch-sanction-yachts-russia-ukraine-uk-banned-ships-putin-shapps-2022-3?r=US&IR=T).
UK Bans License for Russia Today: UK media regulator Ofcom announced on Friday that it was suspending the broadcast license for RT amid 29 ongoing investigations into RT’s impartiality related to the war in Ukraine. (https://www.ofcom.org.uk/news-centre/2022/ofcom-revokes-rt-broadcast-licence).
UK Issues General Trade License Relating to Russian Vessels: On March 17, 2022, the UK issues a general trade license authorizing inter alia the provision of technical assistance, financial services , brokering services in respect of restricted goods and restricted technology in relation to certain vessels, subject to certain conditions (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1061699/general-trade-licence-russia-sanctions-vessels.pdf).
UK Foreign Secretary Confirms More Russian Sanctions to Come: On March 16, 2022, the UK Foreign Secretary confirmed the UK will be placing more sanctions on individuals, companies and on the oil and gas industry. The UK is also seeking a full SWIFT freeze on all Russian banks and a complete elimination of dependency on Russian oil and gas throughout the EU (https://news.sky.com/video/ukraine-war-liz-truss-confirms-more-russia-sanctions-will-be-enacted-12567399).
UK Announces New Sanctions Against Russia: On March 15, 2022, the UK Government announced a ban on exports to Russia of high-end luxury goods, while also hitting hundreds of key products with new import tariffs. The UK said that it will (i) deny Russia and Belarus access to “Most Favoured Nation” tariff for hundreds of their exports, depriving both nations key benefits of WTO membership, (ii) impose an additional 35% tariff on a list of goods worth £900 million (including vodka), and (iii) ban the exports of luxury goods to Russia (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-announces-new-economic-sanctions-against-russia).
UK Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022 passed: The Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act (the “Act”) entered into law on March 15, 2022, following an expedited passage through Parliament. The new legislation has already allowed the government to move more quickly to impose sanctions against oligarchs already designated by allies, as well as intensifying sanctions enforcement. UK companies who refuse to reveal their ‘beneficial owner’ will face tough restrictions on selling the property and those who break the rules could face a fine of up to £2,500 per day or up to 5 years in prison. (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-measures-to-tackle-corrupt-elites-and-dirty-money-become-law#:~:text=The%20Economic%20Crime%20(Transparency%20and%20Enforcement)%20Bill%20receives%20Royal%20Assent.&text=The%20new%20Economic%20Crime%20(Transparency,an%20expedited%20passage%20through%20Parliament).
UK Adds More Than 370 to the UK Sanctions list: The UK has imposed sanctions on 364 individuals and entities its Russia sanctions regime and a further nine entries under its Cyber regime. The additions include: Sergei Shoigu (the Russian Defense Minister), Mikhail Mishustin (the Russian Prime Minister), Dmitry Medvedev (the former Russian President), German Khan (a business partner of Mikhail Fridman of Alfa Bank), Petr Aven (former president of Alfa Bank), Andrey Melnichenko (founder of EuroChem Group). (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1060784/Notice_Russia_150322.pdf’ / https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1061010/Notice__Russia_150322.pdf / https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1060768/Notice_Cyber_150322.pdf).
UK Expected to Expand the Russia Sanctions List as Economic Crime Bill is Fast-Tracked: The Economic Crime Bill (the “Bill”) is expected to pass late on March 14, 2022. The Bill will reform Companies House in an attempt to verify the identity of every company director and beneficial owner, with the aim of preventing criminals or kleptocrats from hiding behind UK shell companies. Following passage of the Bill, the UK Foreign Secretary is expected to name hundreds of oligarchs, individuals and organizations to be added to the UK’s sanctions list on March 15, 2022 (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/mar/14/uk-to-expand-russia-sanctions-list-fast-tracked-bill) .
UK Authorities Announce Webinars on UK Sanctions Related to Russia: At 1pm GMT on March 17, 2022, the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (“OFSI”) will be hosting a webinar on UK Sanctions related to Russia to aid attendees in understanding recent changes to UK sanctions relating to Russia. You can register for the webinar at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/webinar-uk-sanctions-relating-to-russia-briefing-by-uk-government-tickets-269539408627. In addition, the Export Control Join Unit will be hosting a webinar at 2-3:30pm on March 24, 2022 that focused on the impact of sanctions against Russia on strategic export licenses (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/notice-to-exporters-202207-webinar-uk-sanctions-against-russia/nte-202207-webinar-uk-sanctions-against-russia).
Financial Conduct Authority Asks UK banks to Provide Information on Sanctioned Russian Oligarchs:The UK financial regulator has asked UK banks to share information on how individuals and businesses subject to sanctions move their money around the world. Any banks that withhold information on matters, including attempts to avoid sanctions, will be judged as not having the “open and transparent relationship” they are required to have with their regulators (https://www.ft.com/content/8ee01734-f392-401f-908b-555fce71fb39).
UK Chancellor Calls on Firms to Stop Investing in Russia: On March 13, 2022, the Chancellor urged firms to think very carefully about their investments in Russia and how they may aid the Putin regime, and stated his view that there is “no case for new investment in Russia”(https://www.gov.uk/government/news/chancellor-calls-on-firms-to-stop-investing-in-russia).
Tata Steel and British Steel Suspend Imports of Russian Coal: Tata Steel UK and British Steel have both suspended imports of Russian coal following sustained pressure from Western governments for businesses to divest from Russia (https://www.cityam.com/uk-steel-firms-suspend-imports-of-russian-coal/).
Grants for UK-Russian Research Projects Suspended: UK Research and Innovation, the UK’s main public funding agency for research at UK universities, has suspended grant payments to projects involving scientists in Russia. This will affect almost 50 grants for projects at UK universities(https://www.ft.com/content/e60b3ab1-63f8-48b8-8677-c92400562f7c).
UK Seeking to Use Homes of Sanctioned Individuals for Humanitarian Purposes: In a Sunday interview with the BBC, UK Housing Minister Michael Gove stated that his agency was “exploring an option” where the homes of sanctioned individuals will be used for housing Ukrainian refugees fleeing the conflict. (https://www.reuters.com/world/uk/uk-says-looking-using-sanctioned-oligarch-properties-refugees-2022-03-13/).
OFSI Amends Chelsea License: On March 12, 2022, the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation amended its general license relating to Chelsea Football Club (INT/2022/1327076). The amendments clarify certain provisions in the initial license and extend the general license to cover inter alia payments to third parties based on contractual arrangements entered signed before March 10, 2022(https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1060463/Publication_Notice_-_Chelsea__12.03_amendments_.pdf).
UK Announces Plan to Ban Exports of luxury Goods to Russia: The UK has announced plans to ban exports of luxury goods to Russia. Downing Street said that plans would be set out in the coming days (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/mar/12/uk-announces-plan-to-ban-exports-of-luxury-goods-to-russia).
G7 Commit to Taking Further Measures as Soon as Possible: On March 11, 2022, the joint leaders of the G7 released a statement on the Ukraine committing to inter alia taking action that will deny Russia Most-Favoured-Nation status relating to key products and preventing Russia from obtaining financing from the leading multilateral financial institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/g7-leaders-statement-on-ukraine-11-march-2022).
Russian Oligarch Hints at Legal Action Over UK Sanctions: Oleg Deripaska, who was made subject to a UK asset freeze on March 10, 2022, has suggested that the UK’s sanctioning of oligarchs may lead to court action. He claims there is “not a single fact in support” of the measures (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10605515/Oleg-Deripaska-hints-legal-action-UKs-brutal-sanctions-Russian-oligarchs.html).
UK Financial Regulators Issue Joint Statement on Cryptoassets: On March 11, 2022, the UK’s financial regulatory authorities have published a joint statement on sanctions and the cryptoasset sector emphasizing that financial sanctions regulations do not differentiate between cryptoassets and other forms of assets and reminding authorized financial institutions of their responsibilities to comply with UK sanctions (https://www.fca.org.uk/news/statements/uk-financial-regulatory-authorities-sanctions-cryptoasset-sector).
UK Sanctions Russian Lawmakers: On March 11, 2022, the UK announced sanctions on 386 members of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, who supported the invasion of the Ukraine. an additional 386 Russian lawmakers. This means 400 of the 450 members of the State Duma – the lower house of the Russian parliament – are now subject to UK asset freeze sanctions. (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1060263/Notice_Russia_110322.pdf).
UK Amends Sberbank General License: The UK has amended general licence (INT/2022/1277778) relating to correspondent banking relationships and processing Sterling payments with Sberbank to clarify that UK credit or financial institutions may, subject to the conditions of the license, continue a correspondent banking relationship with Sberbank and its subsidiaries while the license remains in effect. The general licence expires on March 31, 2022 (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1060446/GL_INT20221277778_110322.pdf).
UK Sanctions Authority Publishes overview of Recent Amendments to Russia Sanctions Regime:The Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation has published a blog entitled “Russia: What has changed and what do I need to do?”, which provides an overview of recent amendments to its Russia sanctions regime and highlights points of contact, including for licencing and reporting purposes (https://ofsi.blog.gov.uk/2022/03/10/russia-what-has-changed-and-what-do-i-need-to-do/).
Eight Russia-linked Aircraft Stripped of Isle of Man Registration: Following the UK ban on Russia aircraft on 10 March 2022, eight aircraft have with Russia connections removed from the Isle of Man’s Aircraft Registry as part of an ongoing review of the Isle of Man’s ship and air registries (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-isle-of-man-60707290).
UK Sanctions Additional Russian Oligarchs, Including Roman Abromovich: The UK has imposed asset freezes on seven more Russian oligarchs, namely: Roman Abramovich, Igor Sechin, Oleg Deripaska, Dmitri Lebedev, Alexei Miller, Andrei Kostin and Nikolai Tokarev (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1059928/Notice_Russia_100322.pdf).
UK Issues General License for Chelsea Football Club: The UK has issued a general license (INT/2022/1327076) authorizing certain payments “essential to the continuation of the operation of” Chelsea Football Club following the imposition of asset freeze sanctions on its owner, Roman Abramovich. The general license expires on 31 May 2022 (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1059930/Publication_Notice_-_General_licence_-_INT.2022.1327076.pdf)
UK Removes Belarus from Open General Export Licenses: The UK has removed Belarus as a permitted destination from nine open general export licenses in light of Belarus’s involvement in Russia’s aggression against Ukraine (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/notice-to-exporters-202206-ogels-amended-to-exclude-belarus/nte-202206-ogels-amended-to-exclude-belarushttps://www.gov.uk/government/publications/notice-to-exporters-202206-ogels-amended-to-exclude-belarus/nte-202206-ogels-amended-to-exclude-belarus).
UK Strengthens Ban on Russia Aircraft and Introduces New Trade Sanctions:On March 9, 2022, the UK Foreign Minister announced a new suite of aviation sanctions giving the UK Government new powers to detain any Russian aircraft in the UK. At the same time, additional trade measures will prevent UK exports of aviation or space-related items and technology to Russia, including related services such as insurance and reinsurance services (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-strengthens-ban-on-russia-aircraft-and-introduces-new-trade-sanctions). On the same day, a private jet linked to a Russian oligarch was impounded by UK authorities (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-60671843).
UK Amends General License Relating to VTB: On March 9, 2022, the UK updated general license (INT/2022/1272278) clarifying whether funds owed to VTB ought to be placed into a blocked account. As before, the general license is due to expire on March 27, 2022 (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1059896/VTB_wind_down_licence_notice.pdf).
UK Issues General License Relating to Belarus Flight Data: On March 9, 2022, the UK issued general license (INT/2022/1322576), which authorizes a flight data provider to make payment(s) directly or via a relevant institution to Belaeronavigatsia for aeronautical information publication data, subject to the conditions of the general license. The general license is not time limited, but may be varied, revoked, or suspended by HM Treasury at any time (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1059823/Belaeronavigatsia_publication_notice_09.03.22.pdf).
UK “Fully Intends” to End Dependency on Russian Hydrocarbons: In a statement, the UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy stated that the UK “fully intend[s]… [to] end our dependency on all Russian hydrocarbons” and reaffirmed that UK Government’s intention to set out an energy strategy to explain the UK’s long-term plans for greater energy security (https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/statement-on-the-phasing-out-of-russian-oil-imports).
UK to Phase Out Russian Oil Imports by End of 2022: The UK government has announced plans to phase out Russian oil imports by the end of 2022. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “the UK will move away from dependence on Russian oil throughout this year, building on our severe package of international economic sanctions.” The UK government is expected to set out an energy strategy that sets out the UK’s long term plans for greater energy security, including in relation to both renewable and domestic oil and gas supplies (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-to-phase-out-russian-oil-imports).
UK Implements Further Sanctions: On March 8, 2022, the UK passed The Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) (Amendment) (No. 6) Regulations 2022, which implement certain further sanctions (https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2022/241/made). In particular:
o Russia aircraft are now prohibited from entering UK airspace or landing in the UK;
o Insurance and reinsurance services relating to aviation and space goods or technology to a person connected with Russia or for use in Russia are now prohibited;
o Export control restrictions have been expanded to expressly include “aviation and space” goods and technology within the definitions of restricted goods and restricted technology;
UK Economic Crime Bill Passes Through House of Commons: The Economic Crime Bill will now go to the House of Lords and is expected to become law later this month. The government says the Bill will prohibit wealthy Russians using the City of London for money laundering. The bill simplifies the process for UK authorities to sanction individuals already punished by allies such as the US and EU (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-60646119).
Shell To Stop Purchasing Russian Crude: On Tuesday, Shell announced that it would immediately stop purchasing Russian crude oil on the spot market and not renew contracts with Russian suppliers. It added that it would reconfigure its supply chain to cut out Russian crude altogether, but warned that completing this process would take time. The move comes after the company announced it would dump its investments in Russia last week. (https://www.cnn.com/2022/03/08/energy/shell-russia-oil-ban/index.html).
On March 1, 2022, the UK published three new statutory instruments implementing a number of the sanctions measures announced in recent days by the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary. OFSI also issued five general licenses that, subject to certain terms and conditions, authorize certain activities that would otherwise be prohibited by UK sanctions.
o A Prohibition on Dealings in Certain Transferable Securities and Money Market Instruments of Certain Russian Persons. A prohibition on dealing with transferable securities and money market instruments issued on or after 1 March 2022 by:
– A UK subsidiary of an entity listed in Schedule 2 (which includes Sberbank (see Notice), VTB Bank, Gazprombank, and VEB), or an entity acting on behalf of or at the direction of such an entity, where the security/instrument has a maturity exceeding 30 days;
– A “person connected with Russia” (subject to certain exceptions) or an entity owned by or acting on behalf or at the direction of a “person connected with Russia”; or
– The Government of Russia (i.e. Russian sovereign debt).
o An Expansion of Prohibitions Relating to Loans or Credit of Certain Russian Persons. A prohibition on issuing loans or credit granted on or after March 1, 2022:
– Where such loan or credit has a maturity exceeding 30 days, to:
– A UK subsidiary of an entity listed in Schedule 2;
– An entity “connected with Russia” or owned or acting on behalf or at the direction of a person “connected with Russia”; or
– To the Government of Russia.
o Correspondent Banking Restrictions. A prohibition on UK credit or financial institutions establishing or continuing a correspondent banking relationship, and from processing sterling payments to, from or via a designated person or a credit or financial institution owned or controlled by them.
o the Central Bank of the Russian Federation;
o the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation;
o the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation;
o a person owned or controlled directly or indirectly by any of the persons above; or
o a person acting on behalf of or at the direction of any of the persons above.
o General License – INT/2022/1277777 authorises until March 8, 2022 certain dealings with transferable security or money-market instrument otherwise prohibited by the Russia regulations(https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1057862/Notice_INT.2022.1277777_.pdf).
o General Licence – INT/2022/1277778 authorises until March 31, 2022 correspondent banking relationships between UK credit/financial institutions and Sberbank (and connected entities), and the processing of certain sterling payments between these entities (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1057864/Notice_INT.2022.1277778_.pdf)
o General Licence – INT/2022/1277877 authorises until June 24, 2022 the processing of sterling paymentsbetween UK credit/financial institutions and Sberbank (and connected entities) for the purposes of making Relevant Energy Products available for use in the UK(https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1057866/Notice_INT.2022.1277877.pdf).
o General Licence – INT/2022/1280976 authorises until March 1, 2023 relevant financial authorities to do anything with regard to VTB Capital and its UK subsidiaries related to prudential supervision, or protecting, maintaining or enhancing the financial stability of the UK(https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1058126/Relevant_authority_GL_01.03.22.pdf)
o General Licence – INT/2022/1280876 allows until March 1, 2023 VTB Capital and its UK subsidiaries to make payments, including for basic needs, reasonable fees or service charges arising from routine holding and maintenance of its frozen funds and economic resources, and reasonable professional fees for the provision of legal services (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1058121/VTB_GL_01.03.22.pdf).
o Expand Trade Restrictions Relating to Russia. Expand the scope of the existing ban on the export, supply and delivery, making available and transfer of military goods and technology to and for use in Russia, to include critical-industry goods and technology and dual-use goods and technology, and military goods and technology. Critical-industry goods and technology include certain electronics, computers, telecommunications equipment and information security, sensors and lasers, marine-related items and aerospace and propulsion-related items.
o Extend the Trade Restrictions to Cover Related Activities. Extend the related prohibition on the provision of technical assistance, financial services, funds and brokering services to these additional categories of goods/technologies.
o Removed Russia as a permitted destination from numerous open general export licences (OGELs) (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/notice-to-exporters-202203-licence-suspensions-and-ogels-revised/nte-202203-licence-suspensions-and-ogels-revised), and
o Suspended the approval of new export licences for dual-use items to Russia with immediate effect (https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2022-02-28/debates/2202289000005/RussiaSanctions?highlight=russia#contribution-57284ED8-FCCD-44E6-8B7D-8F5F6C8A6F19).
o Sanctions on Russian Central Bank, National Wealth Fund and Ministry of Finance: Restrictions that prohibit UK persons from undertaking financial transactions involving the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the Russian National Wealth Fund, and the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation.
o Restrictions against Russian financial institutions: In particular, we note that three more Russian banks were designated as subject to asset freeze restrictions today (see below).
o Russian Companies to be Banned from Issuing Transferable Securities and Money Market Instruments: Measures to prevent Russian companies from issuing transferable securities and money market instruments in the UK. This will form a sweeping addition to existing financial restrictions. This is in addition to the prohibition of the Russian state raising sovereign debt in the UK already announced.
o Designated Banks Prevents from Accessing Sterling and Clearing Payments Through the UK: A power to prevent designated banks from accessing Sterling and clearing payments through the UK. This will match the power the US already has. Banks subject to this measure will be unable to process any payments through the UK or have access to UK financial markets.
o Expanded Export Control Restrictions: A set of measures to strengthen significantly our trade restrictions against Russia. This will include a prohibition against the export of a range of high-end and critical technical equipment and components in sectors including electronics, telecommunications, and aerospace
o Extension of Financial and Trade Measures on DNR and LNR: The previously announced extension of financial and trade measures applying to Crimea to the DNR and LNR region.
BP Selling Stake in Rosneft: On Sunday, BP announced that it was selling its 19.75 percent stake in Russian oil company Rosneft. In addition, current BP CEO Bernard Looney and former CEO Bob Dudley resigned from their positions on the Rosneft board with immediate effect. BP had previously received contact from the British government, which expressed concern over BP’s business dealings in Russia. Rosneft is not the subject of comprehensive blocking sanctions. (https://www.bp.com/content/dam/bp/business-sites/en/global/corporate/pdfs/news-and-insights/press-releases/bp-to-exit-rosneft-shareholding.pdf).
UK Sanctions Putin, Lavrov: The UK Treasury has imposed asset freeze sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1057547/Notice_Russia_250222.pdf).
Further Sanctions Legislation Coming Tuesday: Following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s statement previewing new sanctions legislation yesterday, British outlets are expecting legislation outlining the content of the sanctions to be tabled before Parliament on Tuesday. These measures are expected to block Russian companies from raising finance in UK markets and the Russian government from raising sovereign debt in UK markets. The legislation is expected to pass in one day. (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/feb/24/boris-johnson-announces-largest-ever-set-of-sanctions-against-russia).
BP Involvement in Russia Draws Scrutiny: UK Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng and BP CEO Bernard Looney had a call on Friday discussing government “concern” about the oil company’s position in Russia. The discussion is believed to focus on BP’s 22 percent stake in Rosneft, the Russian state oil company. (https://amp.theguardian.com/business/2022/feb/25/bps-ties-to-russia-draw-uk-government-concern).
Prime Minister Calls for SWIFT Restrictions: During a meeting with NATO leaders, Prime Minister Johnson urged the group to take immediate action to ban Russia from the SWIFT system. (https://twitter.com/BorisJohnson?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor).
o Impose assets freeze restrictions on more than 100 entities and individuals, including VTB Bank and major Russian manufacturers;
o Introduce powers to exclude Russian banks from the UK financial system, including preventing access by such banks to GBP and clearing services in the UK;
o Limit the amount of money Russian nationals can deposit in UK bank accounts;
o Introduce a ban on Aeroflot landing in the UK;
o Ban the export of all dual use items to Russia, including items relating to the electronics, telecommunications and aerospace sectors; and
o In parallel, introduce new sanctions against Belarus. (https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-statement-to-the-house-of-commons-on-ukraine-24-february-2022)
Comprehensive Sanctions: In addition, the implemented comprehensive sanctions on six entities and five individuals. The targeted entities include VTB Bank, Russia’s second largest bank by total assets, and certain aerospace and defence companies such as Rostec, United Aircraft Corporation and United Shipbuilding Corporation. (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/foreign-secretary-imposes-uks-most-punishing-sanctions-to-inflict-maximum-and-lasting-pain-on-russia)
Investigations of Russian Wealth in the UK: In his speech announcing new sanctions legislation, Prime Minister Johnson announced plans to reinforce the UK’s Unexplained Wealth Order Regime and introduce a new “Kleptocracy Cell” in the National Crime Agency.
SWIFT Restrictions Considered: The Prime Minister’s statement to the House of Commons indicated that the UK is considering restricting Russia’s access to SWIFT, the financial messaging service used in international transactions.