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Ukraine Crisis – Other Notable Developments – Sanctions Update

UPDATE:

Week of September 26, 2022

  • Japan Imposes New Export Controls on Chemical Weapons Materials: On September 26, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirozaku Matsuno stated that the Japanese government has decided to ban the export of chemical weapons-related goods to Russia. The government also agreed to add 21 Russian organizations, like science labs, to existing export bans. (https://www.reuters.com/world/japan-bans-chemical-weapons-related-goods-russia-concerned-by-nuke-threats-2022-09-26/).
  • New Zealand Sanctions an Additional 19 Russians: On September 27, New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta confirmed that the Ministry had added an additional 19 individuals to its sanctions list. The new additions include Federal Ministers, non-permanent members of Russia’s Security Council, relatives of Putin, and Chechen Republic President Ramzan Kadyrov. (https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/475572/new-zealand-imposes-further-sanctions-against-putin-linked-individuals).
  • Canada Intends to Issue New Sanctions: In a September 28 statement, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that the country intends to impose additional sanctions against Russia in response to Russia’s “illegitimate” referendums in eastern Ukraine. The Prime Minister said, “We intend to impose new sanctions against persons and entities that are complicit in this latest attempt to undermine the principles of state sovereignty, and that share responsibility for the ongoing senseless bloodshed across Ukraine.” (https://www.reuters.com/world/canada-impose-new-sanctions-russia-over-sham-referendums-ukraine-2022-09-28/).
  • Moldova Considers Revoking Citizenship of Dual Citizens Fighting for Russia: On September 26, Moldovan President Maia Sandu told the press that the country is looking into revoking the citizenship of individuals with Moldovan-Russian citizenship that leave the country fight for Russian interests in Ukraine. She added that the government is looking at “harsher” punishments for Moldovan nationals without Russian passports that choose to fight in Ukraine for Russia. She noted that the Moldovan government is in negotiations with the Russian government to prevent Moldovan-Russian citizens from being conscripted to fight in the war. (https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/moldova-considers-sanctions-citizens-who-fight-russia-ukraine-2022-09-26/).
  • Toyota Terminates Production at Russian Plant: On September 24, Toyota announced that it would not be resuming operations at its plant in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The factory had suspended operations in March due to the war in Ukraine and ensuing difficulties in sourcing supplies; company leadership said “we have not been able to resume normal activities and see no indication that we can restart in the future.” The company added that staff will be offered re-training programs as part of the termination. (https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2022/09/24/business/toyota-russia-factory/).
  • Uzbekistan Suspends Use of Mir Payment System: On September 23, Uzbekistan announced that it was suspending use of the Mir card service. Cards co-branded as Uzcard, a local payment processing servicer, and Mir, however, will “operate as usual” in Uzbekistan, Uzcard said. The US has threatened to sanction entities that use the Mir payment processing platform, which was designed by Russia to avoid restrictions on the Swift interbank messaging system. (https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2022/09/23/uzbekistan-suspends-russias-mir-payment-system-a78877).
  • OECD Estimates Economic Impact of War in Ukraine: On September 26, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) estimated that the war in Ukraine will cost the global economy $2.8 trillion in lost output by the end of next year. It revised its economic growth forecast for Europe downward; at the start of the year, it expected the Eurozone to grow by 1.6 percent in 2022, but now expects growth of only 0.3 percent. The body also warned that this projection could be further revised downward if energy prices in Europe rise again. (https://www.wsj.com/articles/russias-war-in-ukraine-to-cost-global-economy-2-8-trillion-oecd-says-11664177401). 
  • Canada Leads Opposition to Russian Board Membership in ICAO: On September 27, Canadian Transportation Minister Omar Alghabra confirmed that the country would oppose Russian board membership in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) when the organization meets on Saturday to elect the board. The Minister added that he is persuading other nations to join its campaign. Russia has been a vocal opponent of airspace restrictions, a popular sanction since the start of the invasion of Ukraine. (https://www.reuters.com/world/canada-will-oppose-russias-re-election-un-civil-aviation-body-says-minister-2022-09-28/).

UPDATE:

Week of September 19, 2022

  • NATO Says Sanctions Hampering Russian Capacity to Manufacture Weapons: In a Friday (September 16) interview with Reuters, Rob Bauer, a Dutch Admiral who chairs NATO’s Military Committee, stated that NATO is seeing “the first serious signs of that in terms of their ability to produce, for example, the replacement of cruise missiles and more advanced weaponry” due to international sanctions. However, he noted that Russia still has a significant industrial base and can still manufacture large quantities of ammunition. (https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/sanctions-hamper-russias-ability-make-advanced-weapons-nato-says-2022-09-16/).
  • Australia Rules Out Ban on Russian Tourist Visas: In a Sunday (September 18) interview on ABC, Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles said that the country was not considering a ban on issuing tourist visas to Russian nationals due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. He explained that Australia’s sanctions regime was not intended to punish ordinary Russians, rather the perpetrators of the conflict in government. (https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/australia-rules-out-ban-russian-tourists-part-sanctions-2022-09-18/).
  • Swiss Senate Votes Down Effort to Allow Unilateral Sanctions: On September 19, the Swiss Senate rejected a proposal that would allow Switzerland to unilaterally impose its own sanctions. Under current law, Switzerland can only impose sanctions that mirror those imposed by the EU or the OSCE. The Swiss House of Representatives previously supported a proposal that would allow the country to impose unilateral sanctions. (https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/parliamentary-stalemate-blocks-unilateral-swiss-sanctions/47912400).
  • Swiss Lawmaker Calls for Removing All Russian Banks from SWIFT: In an interview with Guildhall, Swiss legislator Nicolas Walder called for removing all Russian banks from the SWIFT interbank messaging system. He noted that Swiss law restricts the government from unilaterally issuing the sanctions, saying that the EU or OSCE must take action before Switzerland can make restrictions itself. (https://www.ukrinform.net/rubric-economy/3574120-swiss-parliamentarian-wants-all-russian-banks-to-be-disconnected-from-swift.html).
  • Australia Supports Russian Oil Price Cap: Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong confirmed on September 19 that Australia would be joining a G7 effort to impose a price cap on Russian oil. In announcing support, Foreign Minister Wong said, “Supporting the price cap demonstrates Australia’s resolve to limit the global economic impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine while maximising the pressure on Russia to end the conflict.” (https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/7908859/australia-adopts-russian-oil-price-caps/).
  • Erdogan Calls for Bank Meeting as Turkish Banks Suspend Use of Mir Payment System: Sources within the Turkish government confirmed that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet with economic policy leaders to discuss the use of the Mir payment system. On September 19, Reuters reported that Turkish banks Isbank and Denizbank have suspended use of the Mir payment system, a Russian system used to evade restrictions on the SWIFT interbank messaging system. The move comes after the US imposed sanctions on the head of the Mir payment system, and threatened further sanctions on banks that used it. (https://news.yahoo.com/turkeys-erdogan-convene-meeting-russian-085426919.html).  
  • Banks in Vietnam, Kazakhstan Suspend Use of Mir Payment System: On September 21, Kazakhstan’s largest bank, Halyk Bank, and Vietnam’s BIDV Bank suspended the use of Russian Mir payment cards. The move came after two Turkish banks took similar measures in response to threats of US sanctions on companies that use the system. (https://www.rferl.org/a/kazakhstan-bank-suspends-russia-mir-payment-system/32044430.html).
  • Japan Considering Expanded Export Controls: On September 22, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi told reporters as the UN General Assembly that Japan is planning on banning the export of chemical weapons-related products to Russia, and expanding the list of Russian military-related organizations to which exports are prohibited. He added that the G7 members had reaffirmed their commitment to support Ukraine and mitigate food and energy security issues emanating from the conflict. (https://www.reuters.com/world/g7-countries-agree-unity-ukraine-support-japan-govt-2022-09-22/).
  • Switzerland’s Imports of Russian Gold Reach Highest Level Since 2020: The Swiss Federal Customs Administration reported this week that it imported 5.7 tons of Russian gold worth $324 million in August. This is the highest level of Russian gold imports for Switzerland since April 2020. The Customs Administration said that the imports were compliant with sanctions, which restrict imports of gold exported from Russia prior to August 4. (https://www.kitco.com/news/2022-09-20/Swiss-imports-of-Russian-gold-hit-highest-levels-since-April-2020.html).
  • Switzerland Continues Accepting Russian Tourists: Newspaper NZZ am Sonntag reported on Sunday (September 18) that Swiss hotels registered 61,214 overnight stays by Russian tourists in July, and that the Swiss government has issued over 9,000 visas to Russian nationals. The report emerges as major Swiss travel groups, like the Switzerland Travel Centre, have declined bookings from Russians, and Switzerland removes facilitated visa access to Russian nationals. (https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/russian-tourists-flock-to-switzerland-amid-war-in-ukraine/47909634).
  • Rio Tinto CEO Criticizes US Decision to Not Sanction Aluminum from Russia: In an interview withBloomberg on September 21, Rio Tinto CEO Jakob Stausholm criticized the US’s decision to not sanction Russian aluminum, saying, “It’s actually very difficult to have a profitable aluminum industry in North America at this point in time because [low priced] Russian aluminum is flowing in.” The US has withheld sanctions on Russian aluminum out of fear that restrictions would harm the US market. (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-09-21/rio-tinto-ceo-says-russia-aluminum-imports-are-hurting-us-profit).
  • Indian Prime Minister Calls on Putin to End War in Ukraine: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin met on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization meeting on September 16. Prime Minister Modi urged President Putin to find a diplomatic solution in Ukraine, saying “today’s era is not one for war.” President Putin responded that Russia is willing to negotiate, but Ukraine has refused attempts at outreach. (https://www.wsj.com/articles/indias-narendra-modi-voices-concern-over-ukraine-war-to-russias-vladimir-putin-11663347008).

UPDATE:

Week of September 12, 2022

  • Indonesia Considers Purchasing Russian Oil: In a Sunday interview in The Financial Times, Indonesian President Joko Widodo responded to a question on whether Indonesia would purchase Russian oil. He said, “We always monitor all of the options. If there is the country [and] they give a better price, of course. The decision may expose Indonesia to sanctions from countries like the United States, which has threatened to sanction countries that did not observe a planned price cap on Russian oil and use western services to purchase the oil. (https://www.ft.com/content/36ae2708-5d41-416e-b6dc-1df4c9b76e9f).
  • Sony’s Music Business Exits Russia: On September 13, Sony’s music business announced that it would exit Russia and transfer the business to musicians and local management. In a statement, Sony said, “As the war continues to have a devastating humanitarian impact in Ukraine, and sanctions on Russia continue to increase, we can no longer maintain a presence in Russia.” It did not provide details on the transaction. (https://www.reuters.com/business/media-telecom/sony-music-exits-russia-due-ukraine-war-2022-09-13/).
  • Chinese Legislator Criticizes Western Sanctions on Visit to Russia: Li Zhanshu, China’s top legislator, met with Russian legislators and Russian President Vladimir Putin last Thursday (September 8). During the visits, state media reported that Li said Russia was “fighting against external interference, sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction, among others.” (https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-putin-taiwan-china-xi-jinping-cf9cb0506d2b391759df50c0a951e364).
  • Former Soviet Satellites Increase Trade with Russia: According to UN Comtrade data compiled by RBC news, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, and Kyrgyztan, the four countries that make up the Eurasian Economic Union, have exported $9.4 billion of goods to Russia in the second quarter of 2022, a 15 percent increase in trade from the same period last year. Georgia saw a 170 percent increase in trade with Russia in July compared to last July, and Uzbekistan saw a 40 percent increase in trade with Russia in July as compared to last July. (https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2022/09/14/ex-soviet-states-boost-exports-to-sanctions-hit-russia-a78781).
  • Rio Tinto Cuts Russian Investors Out of Australian Business to Comply with Sanctions: Rio Tinto announced on September 12 that it would have breached sanctions had it not cut Russian company Rusal out of its alumina refinery project in Queensland, Australia. The Australian government maintains sanctions on Oleg Deripaska and Viktor Vekselberg, who own stakes in Rusal. Rusal has sued in Australian court to recoup its investment. (https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/sep/13/russian-aluminium-giant-cut-out-of-queensland-operation-to-abide-by-sanctions-rio-tinto-says).

UPDATE:

Week of August 29, 2022

UPDATE:

Week of August 22, 2022

  • Canada Sanctions 62 Additional Individuals, 1 Additional Entity: On August 23, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the Canadian government would impose sanctions on 62 additional “close associates of the Russian regime” and one “defence [sic] sector entity that is complicity in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.” Separate reports indicate that the defense sector entity is Avtomatika, which makes drones and electronic voting machines. (https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2022/08/23/prime-minister-announces-additional-support-ukraine;https://globalnews.ca/news/9078678/canada-russian-sanctions-august-2022/).
  • New Zealand Sanctions 48 Additional Individuals, 1 Additional Entity: On August 22, New Zealand Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced that the New Zealand government had imposed sanctions on “48 officials and one entity.” Though the names of the individuals and entity were not publicly disclosed, Foreign Minister Mahuta described them as “officials installed by the Kremlin in separatist regimes in occupied areas of Ukraine.” (https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/sanctions-russian-officials-occupied-regions-ukraine).
  • Canada to Return Remaining Russian Pipeline Turbines: On Wednesday (August 24), Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly announced that Canada intends to return five Russian turbines used in the Nord Stream pipeline currently in its territory for repair. The returns would be an exception to the existing sanctions regime. Canada has already returned one turbine for the Nord Stream pipeline under this exception, but Russia has refused to accept it. (https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canada-sanction-exemption-five-remaining-turbines-1.6560744).
  • Taiwan State Owned Power Company Makes Last Payment on Russian Coal Contract: On Thursday (August 25), Taiwanese state-owned power company Taipower made its last payment under a preexisting contract to purchase coal from Russia. Taipower spokesperson Wu Chin-chung confirmed that Taipower would not sign another coal contract with Russia, instead sourcing coal from Indonesia, Australia, Colombia and South Africa. (https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/biz/archives/2022/08/25/2003784099).
  • Japan Reaffirms Commitment to Continued Sanctions: On Tuesday (August 23), Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida instructed his cabinet to continue diplomatic interventions, including sanctions measures, to oppose Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Speaking to reporters after the cabinet meeting, Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki said, “we will continue to work closely with G7 and international community following the prime minister’s instructions and respond appropriately.” The group did not discuss any new sanctions measures at the meeting. (https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2022-08-22/japan-pm-tells-ministers-to-continue-sanctions-vs-russia-support-ukraine).
  • Largest Japanese Online Broker to Shut Crypto Mining Operations in Russia: On Friday (August 18), SBI Holdings, Japan’s largest online broker, announced that it would shut down its cryptocurrency mining operations in Russia. Russia had been a popular cryptocurrency mining destination due to low energy costs, but recent US sanctions on Swiss crypto mining firm Bitriver, which has significant operations in Russia, may make Russia a less appealing mining destination. SBI Holdings previously suspended operations in Russia, leading to a $72 million pretax loss in the three months ending June 30. (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-08-19/japan-s-largest-online-broker-to-shut-crypto-mining-in-russia).
  • Mitsui and Mitsubishi to Maintain Stake in Sakhalin 2 Project: Sources close to Mitsui and Mitsubishi told the Kyodo News that both companies have decided to maintain their stake in the Sakhalin 2 oil and gas project. Both plan to cooperate closely with the Japanese government to ensure compliance with Japanese law. Russian state-owned energy company Gazprom currently owns a majority stake in the Sakhalin project. (https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2022/08/314390ffe22b-mitsui-mitsubishi-to-keep-stakes-in-russia-sakhalin-2-energy-project.html).
  • Iran Moving to Replace Russian Oil in Europe: On Wednesday (August 24), sources within Iranian oil companies toldBloomberg that they are seeking to win back customers in Greece, Italy, Spain, and Turkey, as those countries had previously purchased Iranian crude and will need to find a different source of oil as EU sanctions on Russian oil enter into force. (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-08-24/iran-has-its-eye-on-russia-sized-hole-in-the-european-oil-market).
  • Serbian Interior Minister Meets with Russian Foreign Minister: On Monday (August 22), Serbian Interior Minister Aleksandar Vulin met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Though Serbia is an EU candidate and has faced pressure from the bloc to impose its own sanctions on Russia, Interior Minister Vulin told Lavrov during their meeting that Serbia is “the only state in Europe that didn’t introduce sanctions and was not part of the anti-Russian hysteria.” (https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/8/22/serb-official-visits-moscow-calls-sanctions-eu-hysteria).

UPDATE:

August 08, 2022

UPDATE:

August 05, 2022

UPDATE:

August 04, 2022

  • Canada Holds Hearings on Turbine Return: On Thursday, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly appeared at a Parliamentary hearing to discuss the Canadian government’s decision to allow an exception to the country’s sanctions regime to return a turbine needed to repair the Nord Stream pipeline to Russia. She stated that the Canadian government spoke with counterparts in Germany and Ukraine before deciding to send the turbine to Russia. Natural Resources Minister Mark Wilkinson also appeared at the hearing, and stated, “The trap that Putin was trying to set by weaponizing the Nord Stream pipeline was obvious. Don’t return the turbines such that Canada and the West are likely to be blamed for reducing the gas flow to Europe and risking dividing the alliance, or return the turbine and risk a perceived weakening in the alliances’ resolve regarding sanctions.” (https://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/ukraine-s-ambassador-to-tell-mps-canada-must-reverse-russian-turbine-decision-1.6013774).
  • India Dramatically Increases Purchases of Russian Fertilizer: On Thursday, The Washington Post reported that India imported 7.74 million tons of fertilizer from Russia. This three month period equaled two thirds of all of India’s imports of Russian fertilizer last year, and made Russia the country’s top fertilizer supplier. This is another example of India resisting western efforts to impose sanctions on Russia. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/08/04/india-russia-fertilizer-oil-imports/).
  • Turkish Textile Sales to Russia Increase: On Thursday, Russian broadcast station REN-TV announced that sales of textiles from Laleli, one of Istanbul’s major textile producing centers, have increased fourfold since May. This increase in sales is driven primarily by tourists entering the country and bringing the goods back to Russia, informally called the “suitcase trade”. (https://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/laleli-sales-to-russia-quadruples-amid-western-sanctions-175836).
  • Russia to Launch Iranian Satellite: On Wednesday, Russian space agency Roscosmos announced that it would launch a remote sensing satellite on behalf of the Iranian government on August 9. (https://www.indiatoday.in/science/story/amid-us-sanctions-russia-to-launch-iranian-satellite-into-orbit-1983673-2022-08-04).
  • Ukrainian Grain Shipments Not Enough to Ease Lebanon’s Crisis: The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that, while the reopening of agricultural shipping corridors in the Black Sea may ease strain on a tight Lebanese food market, it alone will not be enough to ease the crisis in the country. Last year’s financial crisis and rising energy prices, due in part to the war in Ukraine, are combining to make essentials difficult to afford for ordinary Lebansese citizens. (https://www.wsj.com/articles/for-stricken-lebanon-shipments-of-ukrainian-grain-might-not-be-enough-11659618145).

UPDATE:

August 03, 2022

  • G7 Foreign Ministers Statement on Energy Security: On August 2, the G7 Foreign Ministers issued a statement on Energy Security, including in part, ”We further condemn Russian attempts to weaponise its energy exports and use energy as a tool of geopolitical coercion. Russia is therefore not a reliable energy supplier. We will act in solidarity and close coordination to mitigate the impact of supply disruptions on economies and citizens globally and in our countries, especially in order to protect vulnerable groups…e will build on our recent actions to secure energy supplies, stabilise markets and mitigate the increases in energy prices driven by Russia’s actions and extraordinary market conditions. This includes our efforts to reduce our demand for Russian energy and our support for International Energy Agency voluntary collective actions.” The statement also reiterated a commitment to pursuing a price cap on Russian oil. (https://www.eeas.europa.eu/eeas/g7-foreign-ministers%E2%80%99-statement-energy-security_en?s=253).
  • Swiss Adopt New EU Sanctions on Russia: The Swiss government imposed further sanctions against Russia over the war in Ukraine on Wednesday, including banning imports of gold and gold products in line with the European Union’s latest measures on gold and gold products, the cabinet said. The government said that it had made two new exceptions with respect to transactions related to agricultural products and oil supplies to third countries, which the EU has as well, in order to avoid any disruptions in payment channels. (https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/swiss-adopt-new-eu-sanctions-russia-allow-oil-payments-2022-08-03/).
  • Japanese Used Car Exports to Russia Increase: Despite sanctions, exports of Japanese used cars to Russia have increased threefold since May, according to reports from companies specializing in the used car trade. The relative strength of the Russian ruble against the Japanese yen is fueling demand for the cars, as sanctions make domestic Russian car production difficult. (https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14680023).
  •  Canadian Foreign Minister Defends Decision to Send Repaired Gas Turbine to Russia: In a meeting with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock on Wednesday, Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly defended Canada’s decision to implement an exception to its sanctions program to send a turbine to Russia to repair the Nord Stream pipeline. She said the decision was “difficult” and acknowledged “It is now clear that Putin is weaponizing energy flows to Europe. The world sees through his game.” (https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/joly-baerbock-german-foreign-minister-visit-1.6539634).
  • IAEA Director Warns of “Out of Control” Situation in Ukraine: On Wednesday, International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Grossi called for international experts to be permitted to visit the Zaporizhiazhia nuclear plant in Ukraine, as the situation “is completely out of control.” He noted that the plant has taken shelling already, and the area must be secured in order to prevent against a possible nuclear incident. (https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-science-accidents-d2e0077af104f2692b76f737c58e1984).
  • Canadian Border Officers Stop Attempt to Evade Sanctions on Russia: The Canada Border Service Agency announced that it seized a shipment of restricted dual-use goods that were suspected to be destined for military links in Russia, despite restrictions from Canada’s Restricted Goods and Technologies List. (https://globalnews.ca/news/9032327/canada-disrupts-attempt-export-banned-materials-russia).

UPDATE:

August 02, 2022

  • Canada Announces Additional Sanctions on Russian Military Officials and Defense Entities: On Tuesday, Canada announced new sanctions on 43 Russian military officials and 17 entities. In announcing these sanctions, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mélanie Joly stated, “These new sanctions are the latest example of Canada’s efforts to stand with Ukraine in defence of its sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence. Canada continues to coordinate with like-minded partners to ensure that those who commit atrocities are held to account.” (https://www.canada.ca/en/global-affairs/news/2022/08/minister-joly-announces-additional-sanctions-on-russian-military-officials-and-defence-entities.html).
  • North Korea Confirms Plan to Send Workers to Occupied Ukraine: North Korean Ambassador to Russia Sin Hong Choi confirmed his country’s intent to send workers to occupied areas of Ukraine, the so-called Donestk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic, as soon as pandemic restrictions are lifted. (https://www.nknews.org/2022/08/north-korea-confirms-plan-to-send-workers-to-russia-occupied-ukraine/).
  • Russia-Ukraine War and Western Sanctions on Russia Impact Sailors on Commercial Vessels: Despite longstanding customs of not discussing politics or religion at sea, the war in Ukraine has been an unavoidable subject for sailors on commercial vessels, reaching the point that some companies have switched out sailors to cool tension on board or required Russian and Ukrainian sailors to sign agreements not to discuss politics, in light of the industry’s dependence of typically highly skilled Russian and Ukrainian sailors. Additionally, some companies have declined hiring Russian sailors due to uncertainties on payment methods as a result of Russian sanctions. (https://www.nytimes.com/2022/08/02/world/europe/ukrainian-russian-sailors.html).
  • Russia Invokes Force Majeure on Indian Gas Contracts: On Tuesday, shares of Indian oil company GAIL plummeted as reports emerged that Gazprom had invoked force majeure on its shipments to the company. The development comes amid reports that Gazprom is cutting production to create scarcity in natural gas markets. GAIL will now turn to the spot market to fill the gap in production. (https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/business/markets/gail-sinks-as-russias-gazprom-invokes-force-majeure-on-lng-cargo-8935841.html).

UPDATE:

August 01, 2022

UPDATE:

July 29, 2022

  • Surge in Swiss Exports to Russia Ahead of Sanctions: Swiss customs data shows that exports of turbojets, air pumps and other machinery to Russia surged in May and June to pre-war levels ahead of additional sanctions on Russia, with total Swiss exports to Russia 83% higher in June than in January, driven largely by sales of pharmaceutical goods, medicines, diagnostics and blood. (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-07-29/swiss-exports-to-russia-surge-in-race-to-beat-trade-sanctions).
  • Russian State-Owned Company Rosatom Building $20 Billion Nuclear Plant in Turkey: This week, Rosatom began the first set of payments to construct the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), the largest energy project implemented by Turkey and Russia, with financing provided by Sberbank and Sovcombank. The plant is scheduled to become operational by mid-2023. (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-07-29/russia-is-wiring-dollars-to-turkey-for-20-billion-nuclear-plant).
  • Belarussian Opposition Warns that Russia Uses Belarus to Bypass Western Sanctions: In an interview with EURACTIV, Belarusian opposition politician Pavel Latushka stated that “[t]he Western sanctions are leaky, which is why we appeal to the West to align the sanctions on Belarus with those on Russia…Western sanctions have been implemented on the Russian national bank, but not on the Belarusian national bank, Mastercard and Visa operate in Belarus and some industry, some goods are still traded in Belarus – and they’re traded further into the Russian market, while Russians can come to the country and take advantage of it.” (https://www.euractiv.com/section/europe-s-east/interview/russia-uses-belarus-as-proxy-to-bypass-western-sanctions-opposition-warns/).
  • Report: Russia Smuggling Gold From Sudan to Finance War: A report by CNN found that Russia has plundered gold from Sudan and colluded with Sudan’s beleaguered military leadership, enabling billions of dollars in gold to bypass the Sudanese state and to deprive the poverty-stricken country of hundreds of millions in state revenue, through Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin and his US-sanctioned company Meroe Gold (a subsidiary of Prigozhin’s company M-invest) which extracts gold while providing weapons and training to the Sudanese army and paramilitaries. (https://www.cnn.com/2022/07/29/africa/sudan-russia-gold-investigation-cmd-intl/index.html).

UPDATE:

July 29, 2022

  • Surge in Swiss Exports to Russia Ahead of Sanctions: Swiss customs data shows that exports of turbojets, air pumps and other machinery to Russia surged in May and June to pre-war levels ahead of additional sanctions on Russia, with total Swiss exports to Russia 83% higher in June than in January, driven largely by sales of pharmaceutical goods, medicines, diagnostics and blood. (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-07-29/swiss-exports-to-russia-surge-in-race-to-beat-trade-sanctions).
  • Russian State-Owned Company Rosatom Building $20 Billion Nuclear Plant in Turkey: This week, Rosatom began the first set of payments to construct the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), the largest energy project implemented by Turkey and Russia, with financing provided by Sberbank and Sovcombank. The plant is scheduled to become operational by mid-2023. (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-07-29/russia-is-wiring-dollars-to-turkey-for-20-billion-nuclear-plant).
  • Belarussian Opposition Warns that Russia Uses Belarus to Bypass Western Sanctions: In an interview with EURACTIV, Belarusian opposition politician Pavel Latushka stated that “[t]he Western sanctions are leaky, which is why we appeal to the West to align the sanctions on Belarus with those on Russia…Western sanctions have been implemented on the Russian national bank, but not on the Belarusian national bank, Mastercard and Visa operate in Belarus and some industry, some goods are still traded in Belarus – and they’re traded further into the Russian market, while Russians can come to the country and take advantage of it.” (https://www.euractiv.com/section/europe-s-east/interview/russia-uses-belarus-as-proxy-to-bypass-western-sanctions-opposition-warns/).
  • Report: Russia Smuggling Gold From Sudan to Finance War: A report by CNN found that Russia has plundered gold from Sudan and colluded with Sudan’s beleaguered military leadership, enabling billions of dollars in gold to bypass the Sudanese state and to deprive the poverty-stricken country of hundreds of millions in state revenue, through Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin and his US-sanctioned company Meroe Gold (a subsidiary of Prigozhin’s company M-invest) which extracts gold while providing weapons and training to the Sudanese army and paramilitaries. (https://www.cnn.com/2022/07/29/africa/sudan-russia-gold-investigation-cmd-intl/index.html).

UPDATE:

July 28, 2022

UPDATE:

July 27, 2022

  • Turkey Unveils Site to Monitor Ukrainian Grain Deal: Turkey has announced a new control center where Russian, Ukrainian, Turkish, and UN officials will monitor exports of Ukrainian grain under a deal struck last week. The control center will help officials ensure that Russia allows the safe passage of grain via the Black Sea and out through the Bosporus. Officials are cautiously optimistic that the center will help prevent further attacks that violate the agreement, like Saturday’s missile attack on Odessa that damaged a rail terminal used to ship grain. (https://www.wsj.com/articles/turkey-launches-monitoring-site-for-ukraine-russia-grain-deal-11658925605).
  • Philippines Cancels Deal to Purchase Russian Helicopters: On Tuesday evening, the government of the Philippines announced that it had scrapped a deal to purchase 16 military transport helicopters from Russia. Officials were concerned that the Philippines could face US sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act if the deal went through. (https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/ap-exclusive-philippines-scraps-russian-chopper-deal-87474876).

UPDATE:

July 26, 2022

UPDATE:

July 25, 2022

  • Switzerland Does Not Take Position on the Implementation of EU Sanctions: On Monday, the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs took notes of the new measures adopted by the EU against Russia. The State Secretariat said it is up to the Federal Council (cabinet) to decide whether Switzerland will adopt these new measures itself. (https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/swiss-take-note-eu-sanctions-tweak-russian-oil-2022-07-25/).
  • China’s Belt and Road Spending in Russia Drops to Zero: On Sunday, Fudan University released a report saying that China had engaged in no deals with Russian entities through the Belt and Road Initiative in the first half of 2022. This is the first time that the program has not invested in Russia; the two countries signed deals worth about $2 billion in 2021. China still depends on Russian supplies for about 15 per cent of its oil and 8 per percent of its gas. (https://www.ft.com/content/470e2518-410b-4e78-9106-cf881dd43028).
  • Russia Expands List of Unfriendly States: Russia has expanded its list of unfriendly states and territories to include inter alia Guernsey, the Isle of Man and the Bahamas. (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-guernsey-62289170;https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-isle-of-man-62293137).  
  • Kazakhstan Distances Itself from Russia: Since the start of the invasion of Ukraine, Kazakhstan, long considered to be a Russian ally, has distanced itself from the Russian government. It refused to support Russia’s military invasion in the country, sent assistance to Ukraine, welcomed US diplomatic delegations to the country, and increased its defense budget, as hostile rhetoric directed at Kazakhstan from Russia increased. (https://www.wsj.com/articles/russia-ukraine-kazakhstan-central-asia-11658439761).
  • Moldova “Very Worried” About Potential Russian Invasion: In an interview with CNN on Sunday, Moldovan Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita said that, while an invasion of Moldova remained “hypothetical” for now, if fighting moves into southwestern Ukraine near the Moldovan border, the threat would become more pronounced. She said that the country was “very worried” about that scenario. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/07/25/moldova-russia-invasion-prime-minister-ukraine/).

UPDATE:

July 22, 2022

  • IAEA Director General Calls for Military Restraint Near Nuclear Power Plant: On Friday, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (“IAEA”) Rafael Mariano Grossi emphasized the importance of the IAEA going to the Russian occupied Zaporizhzya Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine amid instability at the plant. The IAEA has not been able to access the facility since the start of the conflict. Grossi said, “It is extremely important that no action is taken that could in any way jeopardize the safety of this plant, which is also Europe’s largest. During a conflict of this nature, a nuclear facility can be damaged unintentionally. It must be avoided at all costs.” (https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/pressreleases/update-87-iaea-director-general-statement-on-situation-in-ukraine).
  • Japan Annual Defense Paper Shows Concern Over Russia-China Relationship: In its annual defense white paper, the Japanese government names China, Russia, and North Korea as Japan’s top security concerns and states that Russia’s war on Ukraine raises “concerns that the effects of such unilateral changes to the status quo by force may extend to the Indo-Pacific region.” This concern is especially important as Russia and China continue joint operations while China threatens to use force over Taiwan. (https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/japan-warns-rising-global-tension-russia-china-arms-87233505).

UPDATE:

July 21, 2022

UPDATE:

July 20, 2022

UPDATE:

July 19, 2022

UPDATE:

July 19, 2022

UPDATE:

July 18, 2022

UPDATE:

July 15, 2022

  • Chinese Firms Continue to Supply Russian Military Goods: According to a Friday Wall Street Journal report, Chinese firms have continued to export microchips, electronic components, and other raw materials to Russia, despite pressure from the West to refrain from sending these items. These shipments have nearly doubled since last year, undermining efforts by U.S. and allies to sanction Russia. (https://www.wsj.com/articles/chinese-firms-are-selling-russia-goods-its-military-needs-to-keep-fighting-in-ukraine-11657877403).
  • Russia’s Information War Continues to Expand in Eastern Europe: Russian efforts to spread disinformation through the use of fake accounts and propaganda have continued to spread. Researchers have uncovered networks to spread information through sites like Facebook. A senior Bulgarian official revealed earlier this month that Russia has paid journalists and political analysts 2000 euros a month to post pro-Russian content online. (https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-nato-bulgaria-misinformation-eastern-europe-0e87db7fef9263a465d6cf40d3287efe).
  • Western Countries Condemn Russia at G20 Summit in Indonesia: At G20 talks in Indonesia on Friday, Western finance chiefs condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine as the source of many global economic problems. U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen as well as Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers and Canadian Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland criticized Russia for its impact on the global economy, though G20 chair Indonesia refrained from disinviting Russia despite Western pressure. Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov and Ukrainian Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko participated in the meeting virtually. A final communique is unlikely when talks conclude on Saturday due to disagreements with Russia. (https://www.wsj.com/articles/yellen-rebukes-russian-officials-over-ukraine-invasion-11657879303).
  • UAE Balancing Wester, Russian Interests: On Friday, Anwar Gargash, diplomatic advisor to UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, told assembled press, “[w]e are having intensive consultations with the U.S. government on [Russian] individuals. We are a dollar-denominated economy so for us it’s important we have these conversations.” However, he added, “There are many Russians who are not sanctioned and are interested in safer havens… These non-sanctioned individuals have nothing to do with the war and trying to lump them together with bigger issues is problematic.” The UAE has emerged as a popular destination for Russians leaving the country, to the concern of Western companies that fear the UAE is sheltering sanctioned targets. (https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/uae-defends-stance-russian-individuals-talking-us-2022-07-15/).  
  • Russian Oil Arrives in Cuba: A tanker carrying 700,000 barrels of Russian oil arrived in Cuba on Thursday as Moscow seeks alternative buyers for its oil exports. The cargo was priced at $70 million. Brazil has also signaled that it would accept Russian oil as it struggles to meet demand. (https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/russian-fuel-oil-cargo-arrives-cuba-island-ramps-up-imports-2022-07-14/).
  • India’s Imports from Russia Jumped 272% from April-May: Trade sources reported to theFinancial Express that India’s imports from Russia surged 272% in the first two months of this fiscal year compared to the same time period last year. India has increased its purchases of oil, fertilizers and coal from Russia to combat domestic shortfalls, and largely resisted Western pressure to cut trade ties with Russia. (https://www.financialexpress.com/economy/imports-from-russia-jump-272-in-april-may-to-5-billion/2594365/).
  • Tanzania Struggling with Increased Food Costs: On Friday, The East African released a report on rising food prices in Tanzania, where consumers are reporting 20% increases in the price of bread. The Tanzanian Ministry of Trade confirmed increase of all grain crops. Several factors are contributing to the crisis, with rising transportation costs, supply disruptions due to the conflict in Ukraine, and climate issues all playing a role. (https://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/tea/news/east-africa/how-russia-ukraine-war-changed-food-plan-in-tanzania-3880286).
  • World Athletics President Continues Tough Stance on Russian Athletic Participation: World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said in a press conference Thursday that the it would have been “inconceivable” to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to participate in the world track and field championships, which begin tomorrow. This continues the track federation’s outspoken stance opposing Russian and Belarusian participation in athletic competition, which it has held since the start of the invasion of Ukraine. (https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-sports-track-and-field-sebastian-coe-2a3b9601e9ea438c923a342070349ed3).

UPDATE:

July 14, 2022

UPDATE:

July 12, 2022

  • Turkish President Erdogan Talks Grain Exports with Presidents Putin and Zelensky: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy separately on Tuesday to discuss Ukraine as well as grain shipments. When speaking with President Putin, President Erdogan focused on the importance of ensuring the safety of navigation in the Black Sea. Finally, he told President Zelensky that Turkey wanted peace in Ukraine and would work with the United Nations to help export Ukrainian grain that is stuck in Black Sea ports due to the Russian blockade. (https://edition.cnn.com/europe/live-news/russia-ukraine-war-news-07-12-22/h_72ea5a86a7c254acd12620677b5d85fb).     

UPDATE:

July 11, 2022

  • Canada Issue Permit to Exempt Nord Stream Turbines From Sanctions:Jonathan Wilkinson, the Canadian minister of natural resources announced the issuance of a time-limited and revocable permit to exempt the return of turbines to Germany from Russian sanctions. The turbines are needed by Germany for the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline. The permit is meant to support “Europe’s ability to access reliable and affordable energy as they continue to transition away from Russian oil and gas” despite objections from Ukraine. (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jul/10/canada-exempts-russian-gas-turbine-from-sanctions-amid-europe-energy-crisis).  

  • Japan, Germany Pledge to Continue Cooperation on Ukraine: After a meeting on Monday in Tokyo between Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock pledged to continue their respective sanctions programs on Russia in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine. They also pledged to support exports of Ukrainian grain. (https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2022/07/11/national/germany-japan-defense/).

UPDATE:

July 08, 2022

  • Kazakhstan Calls for New Oil Export Routes after Russia Suspends Key Pipeline:On Thursday, Kazakhstan’s President Qasym-Zhomart Toqaev called on his country to diversify its oil export supply routes, including a feasibility study for a new pipeline under the Caspian Sea that would bypass Russia entirely. The statement underscores potential tensions between Kazakhstan and Russia, whose relationship has soured recently to the point of Russia cutting off the Caspian pipeline this week for technical reasons. (https://www.rferl.org/a/kazakhstan-pipeline-russia-exports-war/31932806.html).

  • Rich Russians Fleeing Sanctions are Propping Up Dubai’s Luxury Real Estate Sector: While numerous countries imposed sanctions and asset seizures on wealthy Russians and figures linked to Putin, causing many to lose their multimillion dollar properties in cities like London and Paris, the UAE has welcomed Russian business. Russians were always among the top 10 nationalities investing in Dubai property but there’s been a spike since February. Anti-money laundering organizations have also been criticizing the UAE for their acceptance of allegedly dirty money. (https://www.cnbc.com/2022/07/07/rich-russians-fleeing-sanctions-are-pumping-up-dubais-property-sector.html).

  • Russian Interest in Montenegrin Real Estate Spikes: On Thursday, the Central Bank of Montenegro said that Russians are now the largest real estate buyers in the country, after they bought 20 million euros’ worth of property since February. Russian interest in property in Montenegro has increased after the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and is expected to continue if the Western sanctions on Russia continue; Montenegro . (https://balkaninsight.com/2022/07/07/russian-interest-in-montenegrin-real-estate-spikes-despite-sanctions/).

  • Australian Investigator Trust Reveals Russian Sanctions Impact: One of Western Australia’s biggest fund managers, Packer & Co, has revealed a negative 1.2 per cent annual performance of its Investigator Trust, which is heavily invested in Russian energy stocks. The loss is still a recovery from a 12 percent fall in the fund’s value in February when the war erupted. (https://www.businessnews.com.au/article/Investigator-Trust-reveals-Russian-sanctions-impact).

UPDATE:

June 28, 2022

  • Non-Sanctioned, Wealthy Russians Dock Boats in Dubai: On Tuesday, reports emerged that Vladimir Potanin, considered to be the wealthiest oligarch in Russia, has moved his yacht Nirvana to Dubai, even though he is not yet subject to sanctions. The movements are part of a larger trend of wealthy Russians moving their property to Dubai, a country that has not yet imposed sanctions on Russia. (https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-putin-politics-sports-dc43a9b55778f833efc2efe2990e31ba).

  • Canada Promises $200 Million in Monetary Assistance to Ukraine: During the G7 Summit, Canada announced that it would provide $200 million in loan assistance for Ukraine through the International Monetary Fund. To date, Canada has committed $1.6 billion in loans and $1.3 billion in direct support to Ukraine, including $320 million in humanitarian assistance. (https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/g7-summit-russia-ukraine-1.6503992).

  • Western Stance on Indian Purchases of Russian Oil Reportedly Softens: During this week’s G7 Summit, India attended as an observer nation. The country, which has markedly increased its purchases of Russian oil, initially received warnings from countries like the US to avoid increases in purchases of Russian oil or face “consequences”, did not face public criticism for its actions at the summit. Prime Minister Narendra Modi defended his decision to purchase cheap energy, saying he spoke for poorer nations making the same choices as India out of economic necessity. (https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/28/world/asia/india-russia-war.html).

UPDATE:

June 27, 2022

  • White House Previews New Sanctions on Russia, Support for Ukraine: In a Monday statement, the White House announced that various federal agencies will implement the following restrictions on Russia and support measures for Ukraine:

    o   New targeted sanctions, in coordination with G7 partners, to “restrict Russia’s access to key industrial inputs, services, and technologies produced by our economies, particularly those supporting Russia’s armament industrial base and technology sector.”

    o   Explore authority to use revenues collected from tariffs on Russian goods to assist Ukraine.

    o   Efforts to reduce Russian revenues, including a prohibition on new Russian gold imports to the US and the addition of “companies engaging in backfill activities in support of Russia by adding several companies around the world to the [Department of Commerce’s] Entity List.”

    o   New sanctions on private military companies and Russian military units credibly implicated in human rights abuses in Ukraine.

    o   $7.5 billion in assistance to Ukraine in coordination with G7 partners. (https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/06/27/fact-sheet-the-united-states-and-g7-to-take-further-action-to-support-ukraine-and-hold-the-russian-federation-accountable/).

  • Key Sanctions Advisor Leaves Administration: On Saturday, Reuters reported that Deputy National Security Advisor Daleep Singh, the primary White House point of contact for sanctions on Russia, has left the administration, taking a job with PGIM Fixed Income, a Wall Street asset manager with $890 billion in assets. Singh had previously taken a leave of absence from his White House position for personal reasons. He will be replaced by former BlackRock strategist Mike Pyle. (https://www.reuters.com/world/us/uss-russia-sanctions-architect-singh-departs-ukraine-war-drags-2022-06-25/).

  • Deputy Treasury Secretary Discusses Sanctions in Turkey: On Saturday, the Treasury Department announced that Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo had visited Ankara and Istanbul, Turkey from June 22-24. There, he met with representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Treasury and Finance, and private banking institutions. He discussed sanctions enforcement, and “all parties expressed a desire to ensure that Turkey is not used as a haven for illicit financing and that the integrity of its banking sector continues to be protected.” (https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy0834).

UPDATE:

June 24, 2022

  • G7 to Discuss Russian Oil Price Cap: Western countries are becoming increasingly frustrated that their embargoes on Russian oil have had the counterproductive effect of driving up the global petrol price, meaning that Moscow, which continues to sell oil to countries such as India and China, ends up earning more money for its war chest. As a result, a price cap on Russian oil, which would allow countries to purchase Russian oil only if it was bought below an agreed-upon price, is set to become a popular topic of discussion at the upcoming G7 summit. (https://www.politico.eu/article/g7-to-discuss-russian-oil-price-cap-via-sanctions-relief/).

  • Moldova Prepared to Join EU Sanctions: In a Friday interview with Moldova 1 Television, Moldovan Parliament Speaker Igor Grosu stated that the country, which was recently granted EU candidate status, was ready to join international sanctions on Russia. He stated, “we will show solidarity with the EU, as our status and European aspirations oblige us. Of course, we will join [any new sanctions] meant to stop the military operation… We are seeking to contribute to this [goal] by any diplomatic means.” (https://tass.com/world/1470947).

  • Russia, Afghanistan Sign Trade Agreement: During a visit to St. Petersburg this week, officials from Afghanistan’s Chambers of Commerce and Industries signed an agreement with Russia’s Business Council for Cooperation with Afghanistan calling for expanded trade relations between the two countries. The Afghan signatory, Mohammad Yunus Mohmand, added that a Taliban government delegation will soon visit Moscow to discuss implementation of the deal. (https://www.voanews.com/a/russia-afghanistan-seek-to-enhance-trade-amid-sanctions-/6632146.html).

  • Latin America Sees Influx of Russians: The Financial Times reported on the increased Russian population living in Latin America after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The report states, “[t]hey are among hundreds of Russians estimated to have relocated to Latin America in recent months, as a combination of relaxed entry rules and an ambivalence toward western sanctions makes it an increasingly attractive destination.” (https://www.ft.com/content/66de3e08-11ee-4347-8475-6a44432080ba).

UPDATE:

June 23, 2022

  • India Provides Safety Certifications for Sovcomflot: Official data from the Indian government indicates that IRClass, the Indian shipping registry, has provided safety certifications for more than 80 ships managed by SCF Management Services, a subsidiary of Russian shipping company Sovcomflot. The safety certifications are a necessary step, after insurance, to allow for oil deliveries. (https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2022/06/23/world/russia-india-oil-haven/).

  • Russian Commodity Trading Companies Leave Switzerland due to Sanctions: Companies specializing in trading Russian commodities are quickly leaving Switzerland, long considered a leader in this business, to the UAE, due to sanctions. Russia’s three largest oil producers are evaluating Dubai as a new home for trading operations, and other firms have already left for the UAE. (https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/international/2022/06/23/673137.htm

UPDATE:

June 17, 2022

  • Norway Joins Sixth EU Sanctions Package: On Friday, Norway announced that it had joined the sixth EU sanctions package on Russia. The country will implement the ban on Russian oil imports on the same timeline as the EU, and expand its sanctions package to include 65 more Russian citizens and 18 more Russian organizations. (https://tass.com/world/1467057).

UPDATE:

June 16, 2022

UPDATE:

June 15, 2022

  • Kazakh Present Commits to Not Violate International Russia Sanctions: In an interview on Russian television, Kazakh President Qasym-Zhomart Toqaev committed to continued work with the Russian government, but added that “sanctions are sanctions” and that “we cannot violate them, especially because we receive warnings about possible so-called secondary sanctions against our economy from the West if we did violate the sanctions.” (https://www.rferl.org/a/kazakhstan-toqaev-sanctions-russia/31899734.html).

  • Serbian President Warns Russian Oil Imports Will End in November: Speaking on Serbian television on Tuesday, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic urged the Serbian public to prepare for oil shortages this winter, saying “[w]e’ll no longer be able to import Russian oil from November 1 due to the sanctions imposed against Russia, and who knows what other sanctions will be imposed by then?” To date, Serbia, a candidate for EU accession, has resisted calls to impose its own sanctions on Russia. (https://interfax.com/newsroom/top-stories/80175/).

UPDATE:

June 14, 2022

UPDATE:

June 13, 2022

  • Turkey Planning to Host Russian, Ukrainian Delegation on Grain Exports: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that he planned to host Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to discuss possible grain export corridors out of Ukraine. (https://tass.com/world/1464095).

UPDATE:

June 11, 2022

  • Switzerland Adopts Portions of Sixth EU Sanctions Package: On Friday, the Swiss Federal Council announced the adoption of portions of the sixth EU sanctions package on Russia. The restrictions include the oil embargo, SWIFT restrictions, provisions of certain auditing and business consulting services, and bans on advertising in content produced or broadcast by certain Russian media such as Russia Today or Sputnik. The Swiss government will also investigate the consequences of the oil embargo. The Federal Council also announced sanctions on 100 Russian and Belarusian individuals; the list of sanctioned individuals matches the EU’s list of restricted persons. The restrictions entered into force on June 10 at 6pm. (https://www.admin.ch/gov/en/start/documentation/media-releases.msg-id-89229.html).

  • Business Exits from Russia Cost Companies $59 Billion: According to a study from Yale released on Friday, global companies have incurred $59 billion in losses due to the suspension of Russian operations. The report looked at the almost 1,000 Western businesses that announced an exit or reduction in Russian operations, and their announced write-downs and losses due to the action. Research into the impact on share price due to withdrawals was mixed. (https://www.wsj.com/articles/business-losses-from-russia-top-59-billion-as-sanctions-hit-11654853400).

  • US Struggling to Convince Non-European Countries to Join Russia Sanctions: The New York Times published an article on Saturday discussing US struggles to convince non-European allies to join in on sanctions on Russia. The article discusses resistance in Gulf nations, Brazil, and South Africa, which have refrained from imposing sanctions on Russia to avoid damage to their home economies. (https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/11/us/politics/russia-biden-sanctions.html).

UPDATE:

June 9, 2022

UPDATE:

June 8, 2022

UPDATE:

June 7, 2022

  • India Seeks to Increase Russian Oil Imports:  Bloomberg reported Monday that Indian state oil refiners, Indian Oil Corp, Hindustan Petroleum, Bharat Petroleum, and private processors, Reliance Industries and Nayara Energy (partially owned by Russian oil giant Rosneft) are ramping up purchases of heavily discounted Russian crude. Seeking new six month supply contracts, the refiners plan on having cargoes delivered from Rosneft with the sellers handling the shipping and insurance. India’s petroleum imports surged 16 percent in April from last year, and are likely to increase as Europe turns away from Russian suppliers. (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-06-06/india-in-talks-to-increase-russian-oil-imports-from-rosneft).

  • Fiji Turns Over Russian Oligarch’s Yacht to U.S.:  Following the conclusion of an eight week legal battle, a Fijian Court has ruled that Fijian authorities must turn over a $300 million dollar yacht owned by Suleiman Kerimov to U.S. officials. The Court noted that its “decision acknowledges Fiji’s commitment to respecting international mutual assistance requests and Fiji’s international obligations.” (https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/6/7/russian-oligarchs-yacht-turned-over-to-us-by-fiji).

  • World Bank President Malpass Says Trouble Ahead for Global Economy:  Bloomberg reported Tuesday that the World Bank slashed its estimate for global growth this year to 2.9 percent due to the surge in energy and food prices, and the challenges to global supply chains caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In the report, Malpass stated, “[t]he world economy is again in danger… It is facing high inflation and slow growth at the same time. Even if a global recession is averted, the pain of stagflation could persist for several years – unless major supply increases are set in motion… For many countries, recession will be hard to avoid.” (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-06-07/stagflation-danger-sees-world-bank-cut-global-growth-outlook?srnd=premium).

UPDATE:

June 6, 2022

  • Rusal Challenges Australian Sanctions in Court: Russian aluminum company Rusal has filed suit in Australian court seeking to take back its 20 percent stake in global mining company Rio Tinto’s Australian affiliate Queensland Alumina Limited. Rio Tinto took full control of the facility, which it previously owned as a joint venture with Rusal, in April, when Australia imposed sanctions on oligarchs Oleg Deripaska and Viktor Vekselberg, who own stakes worth 25.6 percent and 8 percent respectively in Rusal. Australia has not yet sanctioned Rusal directly. (https://www.reuters.com/markets/commodities/russias-rusal-launches-legal-action-against-rio-tinto-over-alumina-refinery-2022-06-05/).

UPDATE:

June 4, 2022

  • Sri Lanka Blocks Departure of Russian Plane: On Friday, the Sri Lankan government denied permission for an Aeroflot flight to depart for Moscow from Sri Lanka due to a pending legal dispute between Aeroflot and Celestial Aviation Limited, one of the world’s largest plane-leasing firms. Celestial Aviation is alleging that Aeroflot failed to return the jet it leased to the company. A Sri Lankan court will hold a hearing on the case on June 8. (https://www.rferl.org/a/sri-lanka-detains-russian-plane-over-sanctions/31882481.html).

  • Survey Reports Over Half of Japanese Firms Struggling with Impact of Russia Sanctions: On Sunday, credit research firm Teikoku Databank released a survey indicating that 50.8 percent of respondents, mostly Japanese corporations, were having difficulty in sourcing raw materials for their business, and 66.7 percent were experiencing a surge in prices. Reports attributed these difficulties to restrictions on trade with Russia. The research indicated that the wood and bamboo wholesale industry was particularly hard hit, with 88.3 percent of wood construction companies and 83.6 percent of wood and bamboo wholesalers reporting difficulties getting adequate stock. (https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2022/06/262f87f8e1fe-majority-of-japanese-firms-struggle-to-get-materials-amid-war-in-ukraine.html).

     

UPDATE:

June 3, 2022

  • Kazakhstan Changes Name of Oil Exports to Avoid Appearance of Russian ConnectionReuters reported Friday that the Kazakhstan Energy Ministry is changing the name of the oil it exports via Russian seaports to Kazakhstan Export Blend Crude Oil (KEBCO). The change will be effected Monday, June 5, and comes in large part from the fact that Kazakh oil shipments – some 20% of which are routed through Russian sea ports – have been repeatedly mistaken for Russian barrels, and subject to sanctions as a consequence. One trader noted that, “It’s a necessary measure, so that our oil is not sanctioned, while its name clearly shows the country of origin in the documents. Otherwise we have problems opening letters of credit.” (https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/exclusive-kazakhstan-renames-its-export-oil-avoid-russia-sanctions-risk-2022-06-03/).

UPDATE:

June 2, 2022

  • Taiwan Bans Exports of High-Tech Commodities to Russia and Belarus: On Wednesday, Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs announced a list of technology-related commodities, such as microprocessors or microcircuits meeting certain performance criteria, that are banned from export to either Russia or Belarus. (https://www.digitimes.com/news/a20220530PD204.html).

UPDATE:

June 1, 2022

  • Russian Yachts and Money Head to the Middle East: Bloomberg reported Wednesday that the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, and Israel have emerged as go-to destinations for Russian oligarchs seeking a home for their fortunes and flotillas. The UAE and Turkey have served as a transit point for funds at risk of being frozen by the U.S.-led sanctions regime. Cryptocurrency, shell companies, blind trusts, family members and lawyers have all been utilized by sanctioned individuals to avoid the sanctions to great effect. The failure to follow Washington’s lead has led the Biden Administration to consider imposing secondary sanctions on Russian oil, exposing any country or business violating U.S. sanctions to severe economic punishment. (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2022-06-01/billionaire-russians-yachts-and-money-flow-where-us-influence-has-waned).

UPDATE:

May 31, 2022

  • Taiwan Pledges an Additional $4 Million to Ukraine: Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu pledged an addition $4 million to Ukraine to help rebuild infrastructureimpacted by Russia’s invasion. Taiwan will donate $2 million specifically to Kharkiv and $500,000 each to Chernihiv, Mykolaiev, Sumy, and Zaporizhzhia. (https://focustaiwan.tw/politics/202205310026).

  • OPEC Explores Suspending Russian Participation in Oil Production Deal: The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that some members of OPEC are considering exempting Russia from its oil-production targets. This would allow Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and other members to increase production but would allow Russia to be quota-free which could have unintended future consequences. (https://www.wsj.com/articles/opec-weighs-suspending-russia-from-oil-production-deal-11654019943).

UPDATE:

May 30, 2022

  •  South African Coal Miners Struggle to Take Advantage of Russia Sanctions Due to Infrastructure Failures: Despite the increased demand of Russian fuel in Europe, South Africa’s coal industry is unable to meet demand because of copper cable theft and train shortages causing issued for Transnet, South Africa’s state freight operator, which is unable to meet contractual obligations for volumes of coal shipments.  (https://www.ft.com/content/2c97f4d6-5712-4d46-bb38-d774d2619a9e).

  • UAE Hosts Sanctioned Oligarchs’ Yachts: On Monday, The Financial Times reported that sanctioned oligarch Andrey Melnichenko has parked his Motor Yacht A in the UAE to avoid Western sanctions. Melnichenko’s other yacht, Sailing Yacht A, has already been impounded by Italian authorities. The Financial Times describes the situation as a “symbolic reminder of the Gulf monarchy’s ambivalence towards Western sanctions.” (https://www.ft.com/content/0b4d7171-f632-4901-aafe-e283a732a1a9).

     

UPDATE:

May 29, 2022

  • Serbia Announces Three-Year Gas Deal with Russia: On Sunday, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic announced that Serbia had agreed to a new three-year gas deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin. He did not reveal the payment details of the deal. Serbia’s 10-year gas supply contract with Gazprom was set to expire on May 31; Serbia is a candidate for EU membership that has thus far refrained from sanctioning Russia, despite pressure from the bloc to do so. (https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/serbias-vucic-says-agreed-3-year-gas-supply-contract-with-putin-2022-05-29/).

UPDATE:

May 27, 2022

  • Fijian Court Sides with US on Yacht Seizure Case, Appeal Expected: On Friday, appeals courts in Fiji dismissed an appeal by Feizal Haniff, who represented the company that legally owns the Amadea yacht, to prevent the yacht’s seizure by US authorities under sanctions law. The yacht’s true beneficial owner, and the US’s ability to identify them, was the subject of the dispute. The ruling does not go into effect for seven days, which will give time for attorneys to file appeals. (https://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory/us-wins-latest-legal-battle-seize-russian-yacht-85014573).

UPDATE:

May 26, 2022

  • Grain Shortages Having “Significant Impact” on Certain African Countries: Speaking before a Congressional panel on Thursday, Gen. Christopher Cavoli, commander of US Army Europe-Africa, stated that, on a recent trip to Kenya, he observed shortages of grain due to the war in Ukraine. He stated “there was a significant impact there already. We know that in other countries such as Tunisia, the prices have skyrocketed for basic foodstuffs. So there is food insecurity in Africa that is being provoked by the shortage of grain.” He added that European countries are working to improve access to ports for Ukrainian goods, as well. (https://www.cnn.com/europe/live-news/russia-ukraine-war-news-05-26-22/h_ab6933f09983d9daeb2c2629795481de).

UPDATE:

May 25, 2022

  • Credit Suisse’s Ties to Wealthy Russians Hindering Business: On Wednesday, Bloomberg published a profile on Babak Dastmaltschi, a Credit Suisse executive known for attracting business of wealthy Russian clients. $33 billion of the private wealth Credit Suisse manages belongs to wealthy Russian individuals, 50 percent more than UBS. Though the company had some difficulties in 2014 after Russia annexed Crimea, the current wave of sanctions is proving more disruptive, with hundreds of millions in client money frozen and all business with Russian clients essentially halted. (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2022-05-25/credit-suisse-forced-away-from-russia-tycoon-billions-over-war-sanctions).

  • US, UK, EU Launch War Crime Investigation Coordination Group: On Wednesday, the EU, US, and UK announced the creation of the Atrocity Crimes Advisory Group (“ACA”), a multilateral effort to support the Ukrainian prosecutor general in its investigations and prosecutions of war crimes. ACA staff include senior war crimes prosecutors that will provide strategic advice to Ukrainian prosecutors, and mobile staff increase investigation capacity. (https://www.state.gov/creation-of-atrocity-crimes-advisory-group-for-ukraine/).

UPDATE:

May 24, 2022

  • South African President Warns of Harm to “Bystander Countries” in Russia/Ukraine Conflict: Speaking during a joint appearance with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said that “bystander countries” that have not imposed sanctions on Russia as a result of the conflict are nevertheless feeling the policy’s impact, saying, “Even those countries that are either bystanders or not part of the conflict are also going to suffer from the sanctions that have been imposed against Russia.” (https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2022/5/24/update-2-s-africas-ramaphosa-russia-sanctions-hurt-bystander-countries).

UPDATE:

May 23, 2022

UPDATE:

May 22, 2022

  • Several Nations Walk Out of Russia’s Address at APEC Meeting: Representatives from the US, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, and Australia reportedly walked out of Russia’s opening remarks at Saturday’s APEC meeting. Diplomats at the meeting added that the countries that walked out were seeking “stronger language on Russia’s war” in the group’s final statement to be issued on May 22. (https://www.rferl.org/a/apec-us-walkout-russian/31861229.html).

UPDATE:

May 20, 2022

  • G7 Commits $19.8 Billion in Ukraine Assistance, Reiterates Sanctions Support: At the close of the G7 Finance Ministers meeting on Friday, the participants released a joint statement committing $19.8 billion in assistance to Ukraine. This allocation includes $9.5 billion in recently announced commitments leading up to the meeting this week. The statement also reads “We remain committed to fully implementing and enforcing our economic and financial sanctions and remain vigilant against sanctions evasion, circumvention and backfilling. We welcome the ongoing work of the multilateral Russian Elites, Proxies and Oligarchs Task Force.” (https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy0797).

  • Canada Announces New $250 Million Loan for Ukraine, New Sanctions: Speaking from the G7 Finance Ministers’ Meeting in Germany on Friday, Canadian Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland announced a new $250 million loan to Ukraine. She also expressed support for Canada’s recently announced sanctions, including the ones detailed in the preceding point and the addition of 14 more names to Canada’s asset freeze list, and legislation that would seize sanctioned Russian assets in Canada and use them to pay for Ukraine reconstruction. (https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canada-ukraine-loan-sanctions-1.6461089).  

UPDATE:

May 19, 2022

  • Chinese Government Pushes Officials to Avoid Overseas Investment due to Russia Sanctions:The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that the Chinese Communist Party issued an internal notice in March that would ban further promotion of ministerial-level officials that hold, either directly or indirectly through spouses and children, any real estate abroad or shares in entities registered overseas. Sources familiar with the matter said that the international sanctions regime on Russia prompted the decision. It is unclear whether this notice applies retroactively, though some family members of senior officials have sold their shares in overseas companies recently. (https://www.wsj.com/articles/china-insists-party-elites-shed-overseas-assets-eyeing-western-sanctions-on-russia-11652956787).

  • G7 Finance Ministers Commit to $18.4 Billion in Financial Assistance to Ukraine: On Thursday, the Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors of G7 member states agreed to $18.4 billion in assistance to help Ukraine pay its bills, according to a draft communique obtained by Reuters. The draft comes as countries like Japan and Germany announced additional financial assistance to Ukraine in the form of loans. (https://www.reuters.com/world/money-ukraine-top-g7-agenda-inflation-food-concern-2022-05-19/).

UPDATE:

May 18, 2022

  • Australia Imposes More Sanctions on Russian and Belarusian “Purveyors of Propaganda” and Security Groups: On Wednesday, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne announced new sanctions on 11 individuals and 12 entities in Belarus and Russia described as “purveyors of propaganda” and “political and security figures.” The sanctioned entities include Russian private security firm Wagener and Belarusian defense companies Industrial-Commercial Private Unitary Enterprise Minotor-Service and OJSC KB Radar-Managing Company of Radar Systems Holding. The sanctioned individuals include Aleksandr Chupriyan, acting Minister of Emergencies for the Russian Federation; Sergei Korolyov, First Deputy Director of Russia’s Federal Security Service (“FSB”); Nikolay Bogdanovsky, First Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia; and Illia Kyva, a pro-Russian former member of the Ukrainian Parliament. Australia has separately “listed for sanctions” on the Russian Imperialist Movement. (https://www.foreignminister.gov.au/minister/marise-payne/media-release/further-russia-and-belarus-sanctions).

  •  IFIs Release Action Plan to Counter Food Insecurity: On Wednesday, the African Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank Group released a plan to combat food security after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The plan has six goals: supporting vulnerable populations, promoting open trade, mitigating fertilizer shortages, supporting food production, investing in climate-resilient agriculture, and coordination among the group. (https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/IFI_Action_Plan.pdf).

UPDATE:

May 17, 2022

UPDATE:

May 16, 2022

  • Canadian Ambassador to Ukraine States that 2014 Sanctions No Deterrent to “Not Rational” Putin: In an interview on Canadian television, Canada’s Ambassador to Ukraine, Larisa Galadza, stated that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s actions leading up to the war in Ukraine were not “rational,” and that, even with sanctions imposed on Russia in 2014 as a result of its annexation of Crimea, she did not think “there was anyone who could stop Putin doing what Putin did.” (https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/putin-irrational-canada-ambassador-finland-nato-1.6454081).

  • Japan Says Energy Projects in Russia in Accord with Sanctions Policy: During an interview on Sunday, Japanese Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seiji Kihara defended the country’s decision to maintain oil and liquefied natural gas investment projects in Russia, saying, “if we give up our stakes and Russia gets them… [energy imports could be] more costly” for Japan in the long term. He noted that stopping investment would mean that entities that are not sanctioning Russia would reap the benefit of the investment. When asked about restriction on gas imports, Kihara said Japan will “think about how to deal with it when it becomes necessary.” (https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2022/05/e11e09f86c85-japan-says-sakhalin-energy-projects-do-not-contradict-russia-sanctions.html).

  • China Responds to G7 Call to Not Undermine Sanctions: On Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian responded to a question on the G7’s call that China should not help Russia avoid sanctions regimes. He stated at a press briefing, “China has always solved problems while maintaining an independent position… We are completely opposed to unilateral sanctions that ignore international law and the UN role.” (https://tass.com/world/1451391).

UPDATE:

May 15, 2022

  • G7 Commits to More Sanctions, Urges China to Not Assist Russia: In a statement released Saturday at the close of a three-day G7 foreign ministers meeting in Germany, participants expressed their commitment to “broaden our sanctions measures to include sectors on which Russia has a particular dependence” without providing specifics on what those sectors might be. The leaders noted the looming food crisis as a result of reduced Ukrainian grain exports and promised to “accelerate a coordinated multilateral response to preserve global food security.” Finally, the group also urged China to not assist Russia in its invasion, stating China should “desist from engaging in information manipulation, disinformation and other means to legitimize Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.” (https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/en/newsroom/news/g7-russias-war-aginst-ukaine/2531268).  

UPDATE:

May 13, 2022

  • Canada Does Not Rule Out Sanctions on Putin’s Alleged Girlfriend: Speaking on Thursday, Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said that Canada had not ruled out sanctions on President Putin’s alleged girlfriend Alina Kabaeva. She said that Canada would move in lockstep with its allies; a draft of the EU’s sixth sanctions package includes Kabaeva’s name on the list, and, as mentioned above, Kabaeva was sanctioned by the UK today. (https://globalnews.ca/news/8829388/putin-girlfriend-alina-kabaeva-canada-sanctions/).

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