G7 Issues Communique at Close of Summit: At the close of the G7 Summit on Tuesday, the leaders issued a communique announcing their position on various global issues exiting the summit. On Russia and sanctions in particular, the group said they would “explore further measures to prevent Russia from profiting from its war of aggression,” reduce reliance on Russian civil nuclear technology, explore an oil price cap, and provide $4.5 billion in food security assistance. (https://www.reuters.com/world/russia-sanctions-climate-what-g7-agreed-2022-06-28/; https://www.consilium.europa.eu/media/57555/2022-06-28-leaders-communique-data.pdf).
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).
Turkey Agrees to back Finland and Sweden NATO Bid: Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto said that Turkey has agreed to support Finland and Sweden’s joint membership of NATO. Niinisto stated that the three countries signed a joint memorandum “to extend their full support against threats to each other’s security.” (https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/6/28/erdogan-to-have-bilateral-talks-with-world-leaders-at-nato-summit).
Chinese Exports to Russia Dropping: According to the Peterson Institute for International Economics, China’s exports to Russia have dropped 38 percent compared with the second half of 2021. Exports to Russia from sanctioning countries have fallen 60 percent from the average level in the second half of 2021, while exports from non-sanctioning countries have fallen about 40 percent. (https://www.piie.com/blogs/realtime-economic-issues-watch/export-controls-against-russia-are-working-help-china).
US Will Implement a Higher Tariff Rate On More Than 570 Groups of Russian Products: In line with Congress’s decision to revoke permanent normal trade relations with Russia, President Biden announced that the US will increase column 2 duty rates US will implement a higher tariff rate on more than 570 groups of Russian products worth approximately $2.3 billion to Russia.(https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2022/06/27/proclamation-on-increasing-duties-on-certain-articles-from-the-russian-federation/; https://www.wsj.com/articles/g-7-expected-to-adopt-fresh-sanctions-against-russia-11656320252?mod=hp_lead_pos2)
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/).
US Officials Optimistic About Oil Price Cap: US officials expressed optimism that G7 leaders are close to finalizing price caps on Russian oil. A senior US official told reporters earlier in the day that the G7 countries were working to “develop mechanisms to set a global price cap for Russian oil in shipments to countries outside of the US, EU, the UK, and the broader G7”. (https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/press-briefings/2022/06/27/background-press-call-by-a-senior-administration-official-on-president-bidens-second-day-in-germany/).
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).
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).
President Xi Criticizes Western Sanctions at BRICS Summit: During a keynote address on Thursday at the BRICS Summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping criticized the “abuse” of sanctions on Russia. He reiterated his call to rely on the UN system for international sanctions imposition. (https://www.reuters.com/world/china/chinas-xi-criticises-sanctions-abuse-putin-scolds-west-2022-06-23/).
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
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).
Abramov Files Lawsuit Against Australian Government: Russian steel magnate Alexander Abramov commenced legal action against the Australia Minister for Foreign Affairs in an effort to be removed from Australia’s sanction list. In statements after filing the case, his attorneys said that Abramov should not be subject to sanctions because Abramov is “effectively a private citizen, living outside of Russia, conducting business and ought not to be caught up in the net which has been cast by the Australian government.“(https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/jun/18/russian-billionaire-launches-legal-action-against-australias-foreign-minister-over-sanctions).
Egypt Continues to Support of Russia: The New York Times published an article Friday highlighting Egypt’s continued relationship with Russia despite Western pressure. According to the article, Egyptian public opinion tends to support Russia and “are happy to see Russia challenging the United States and its allies.” (https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/17/world/europe/egypt-americas-middle-eastern-ally-maintains-warm-relations-with-putin.html?smid=url-share).
Russia Accused of Using Georgia to Circumvent Sanctions: Ukraine’s chief negotiator with Russia said that Russia “use heavily right now … Georgian banks, Georgian financial system, Georgian companies and so on” to circumvent international sanctions. (https://www.euractiv.com/section/europe-s-east/news/russians-using-georgia-to-bypass-sanctions-say-ukrainian-lawmakers/).
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).
Chinese President Xi Affirms Support for Russia in Call with Vladimir Putin: On Wednesday, Chinese President Xi and Russian President Putin spoke, with Xi expressing support for Russia’s actions and agreeing to ramp up economic cooperation in response to “unlawful” Western sanctions, according to a readout released by the Kremlin. (https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/6/15/putin-xi-agree-to-ramp-up-economic-cooperation-amid-sanctions-k). Chinese broadcaster CCTV also reported strong support by President Xi on the call. (https://www.politico.eu/article/china-xi-give-most-direct-backing-putin-invasion-ukraine/).
Canadian Gold Company Completes Sale of Russian Business at Half Price: Canadian gold mining company Kinross Gold Corp stated on Wednesday that it had completed the sale of its Russian assets to Highland Gold Mining Group for $340 million, half of the previously announced purchase price. The transaction was “adjusted following review by the recently formed Russian Sub-Commission on the Control of Foreign Investments.” The Commission was created to ensure that decisions to exit Russia were not driven by political pressure. (https://finance.yahoo.com/news/1-canadas-kinross-gold-sells-123742817.html?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAHc_sXwYAowMU872F_eDN4LxwYfdPPocWwJKSnDek6hk5C1SRutev5mK3cDFk4psYpDPEz2VYesu8hbh-jKMFG6t-U8t39JLhGgu8dRhRYspKxR5Dfl1WBDDzcYlSCPlbBSQNthILyc0_Uim9G1LUm_u89HncFsJuodRaHd1K7an).
Indian and Russian Officials Meet to Discuss Payment Issues: On Wednesday and Thursday, officials from the Russian central bank and the Reserve Bank of India will meet to discuss payment systems for transactions that comply with international sanctions regimes. Representatives from private sector banks in both countries are expected to attend the meetings. (https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/business/india-russia-work-on-seamless-trade-without-breaching-global-sanctions-report-8688261.html).
Canada Donates $6.9 Million in Howitzer Barrels to Ukraine: On Wednesday, Canadian Defense Secretary Anita Anand announced that Canada would provide 10 replacement barrels for M777 howitzer artillery guns to Ukraine in new military aid valued at C$9 million ($6.9 million). (https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/canada-send-c9-mln-replacement-barrels-howitzer-guns-ukraine-2022-06-15/).
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/).
UAE Likely to Attract Thousands of Millionaires Fleeing Western Sanctions: A report by Henley & Partners released on Tuesday indicates that the UAE is likely to attract 4,000 millionaires, while Israel is on track to receive 2,500 after the onset of Western sanctions. The report notes that Russia could suffer a net outflow of 15,000 high net-worth individuals. (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-06-14/world-s-wealthy-flock-to-uae-as-war-spurs-russian-capital-flight).
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).
Report Warns of Increased Nuclear Threat: An annual report published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute on Monday stated that the global stockpile of nuclear weapons may increase over the next ten years for the first time since the Cold War due, in part, to Russia’s war in Ukraine. (https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/06/13/world/russia-ukraine-war-news#the-global-nuclear-threat-is-rising-in-part-due-to-the-ukraine-war-a-research-group-says).
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).
Japan Previews New Export Control Package: On Friday, Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry told assembled press that Japan would ban the export of trucks and bulldozers to Russia as part of a new sanctions package. The ban on heavy duty equipment to Russia will enter into force on June 17. (https://www.republicworld.com/world-news/russia-ukraine-crisis/japan-bans-export-of-trucks-and-bulldozers-to-russia-in-its-latest-round-of-sanctions-articleshow.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).
Campaigners Call For UAE To Be Blacklisted Over Sanctions Failures: Campaigners and politicians are calling for the United Arab Emirates to be blacklisted over its failures to combat the flow of “dirty money” and to enforce sanctions imposed on Russian oligarchs. This follows the revelation that, for more than three months, a private jet belonging to sanctioned oligarch, Roman Abramovich, has been grounded in Dubai. (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jun/11/blacklist-dubai-uae-over-russian-oligarchs-say-ukraine-campaigners).
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).
Russian Oil Supply Too Low for New Deals with India: The Times of India reported Thursday that Russian gas giant Rosneft is holding back from signing new crude oil deals with two Indian refiners because it has committed sales to other customers. (https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/ukraine-war-russia-has-no-extra-oil-to-sign-deals-with-two-indian-buyers/articleshow/92095044.cms).
India Blocking Efforts to Mitigate Global Food Crisis: Bloomberg reported Thursday that New Delhi is effectively stymieing all negotiations at the WTO and putting at risk the G-7’s effort to prevent an acceleration of food prices. India is also blocking a popular deal to aid the World Food Program’s ability to purchase critical foods for humanitarian aid. (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-06-09/india-seen-as-thwarting-g-7-push-to-avert-global-food-crisis).
Pakistan to Import Wheat from Russia: Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said Thursday that the country would purchase what from Russia on a government-to-government basis. (https://english.newstracklive.com/news/pak-pm-to-import-wheat-from-russia-amid-us-sanctions-sc57-nu318-ta318-1233404-1.html).
Canada Announces Sweeping New Sanctions Restrictions on Serviced to the Russian Oil, Gas, and Chemical Industries: On Wednesday, Canada’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced new sanctions under the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations that ban twenty-eight key services in the operation of the oil, gas, and chemical industry. (https://www.canada.ca/en/global-affairs/news/2022/06/canada-imposes-sanctions-on-russian-oil-gas-and-chemical-industries.html).
Japan Suspends Loans on Russian Gas Plant: On Wednesday, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation halted loans for a $21 billion natural-gas export plan under construction in Siberia. The Bank had announced a pause in loans in March and Wednesday’s announcement is described as “a more open-ended suspension” without a specific end date. (https://www.wsj.com/articles/japanese-government-bank-halts-loans-to-russian-gas-export-plant-11654687875).
OECD Reports on Global Economic Impact of Russia’s Invasion: On Wednesday, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released the preliminary version of its annual Economic Outlook report in which it noted that Russia’s war in Ukraine will continue to impact global economies, including increased inflation. (https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/economics/oecd-economic-outlook/volume-2022/issue-1_62d0ca31-en; https://www.wsj.com/articles/russian-invasion-expected-to-double-inflation-rates-11654678800).
Brazil Explores Creative Alternatives to Increase Fertilizer Production: Facing increased global prices on fertilizer, Brazil has begun to introduce high-tech alternatives to increase farm production of fertilizer ranging from nanoscopic plant enhancers to crop-viewing drones. (https://www.wsj.com/articles/fertilizer-price-surge-drives-brazil-to-high-tech-alternatives-11654701075).
UN Reports on Global Crisis Exacerbated by Russia’s War: On Wednesday, the United Nations Global Crisis Response Group released a report that says Russia’s war in Ukraine “has exacerbated a global cost-of-living crisis unseen in at least a generation.” The report states the need for global market stability to end this crisis, including the reintegration of Ukraine’s food production. (https://news.un.org/pages/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/GCRG_2nd-Brief_Jun8_2022_FINAL.pdf?utm_source=United+Nations&utm_medium=Brief&utm_campaign=Global+Crisis+Response; https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/live-updates–turkey-on-food-corridors-un-plan-feasible/2022/06/08/38e02f3e-e71c-11ec-a422-11bbb91db30b_story.html).
Japan-Russia Relations Deteriorate over Fishing Pact: On Wednesday, Japan criticized Russia’s decision to suspend an agreement that allowed Japan to fish in waters near the Russian-held Kurils. The agreement’s suspension is in response to Japan’s sanctions against Russia. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/japan-criticizes-russia-for-suspending-fishing-pact/2022/06/08/953858be-e72c-11ec-a422-11bbb91db30b_story.html).
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).
Canada Announces Additional Sanctions on Russia: On May 31, the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced additional sanctions under the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations against twenty-two individuals and four entities from Russia, including senior officials of Russian financial institutions. (https://www.canada.ca/en/global-affairs/news/2022/05/canada-imposes-additional-sanctions-to-exert-further-pressure-on-russian-regime.html).
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/).
Turkey Capitalizing on Ukraine Crisis: On Monday, The Wall Street Journal published an article on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s actions over the course of the Ukraine crisis. President Erdogan has successfully blocked Sweden and Finland’s bid to join NATO, avoided imposing sanctions on Russia, and secured contact from world leaders on both sides of the conflict, improving Turkey’s position on the world stage. (https://www.wsj.com/articles/turkeys-erdogan-capitalizes-on-ukraine-crisis-as-grip-at-home-wavers-11654511811).
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).
Chinese Government Reportedly Reticent to Support Russia Amid Western Sanctions: According to reporting by the Washington Post on Thursday, Russian officials have grown frustrated with limited Chinese support, including related to “trade commitments” amid Chinese government hesitance to run afoul of western sanctions. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/06/02/china-support-russia-ukraine/).
Kazakhstan Changes Name of Oil Exports to Avoid Appearance of Russian Connection: Reuters 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/).
Senegal Leader Meets Putin: After meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin in his role as chairman of the African Union, Senegalese President Mackey Sall tweeted, “President #Putin has expressed to us his willingness to facilitate the export of Ukrainian cereals,” but did not specify any conditions. (https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/kremlin-denies-blame-mounting-food-crisis-putin-meets-african-union-leaders-2022-06-03).
Indian External Affairs Minister Jaishankar Defends India’s Imports of Russian Oil:Responding to a question at the GLOBSEC 2022 Bratislava Forum, Indian External Affairs minister S Jaishankar defended India’s imports of Russian oil, stating, “Look I don’t want to sound argumentative. If India funding Russia oil is funding the war… Tell me then buying Russian gas is not funding the war? It’s only Indian money and Russian oil coming to India funding the war and not Russia’s gas coming to Europe not funding? Let’s be a little even-handed.” (https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/lets-be-even-handed-jaishankar-defends-indias-oil-imports-from-russia/articleshow/91991178.cms).
OPEC Agrees to Increase Production in Summer Months: On Thursday, OPEC announced a decision to increase oil production in July and August, with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates as the likely suppliers for the increased production. (https://www.ft.com/content/bb130bb9-4b75-4626-961a-2c1ed9b0e7f9; https://www.politico.com/news/2022/06/02/opec-agrees-to-pump-more-oil-ahead-of-possible-biden-middle-east-trip-00036694 ).
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).
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).
China Doubles-Down on its Ties with Moscow:Bloomberg reported Wednesday that Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi reaffirmed the country’s ties with Russia in a meeting hosted by a China-Russia think tank, noting that “China is willing to work together with Russia and the global community to promote real democracy based on nations’ own conditions.” (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-06-01/china-will-advance-real-democracy-with-russia-says-diplomat).
China Bans Russian Airlines Flying Foreign-Owned Jets in its Airspace: ABC News reported Wednesday that the Civil Aviation Administration of China barred Russian airlines from flying foreign-owned aircrafts in Chinese airspace in response to a March action by President Putin which permitted the aircrafts to be re-registered in Russia to avoid sanctions. (https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/report-china-bars-russian-airlines-foreign-planes-85102398).
Senegalese President Criticizes Russian Sanctions: Democracy Now! Reported Wednesday that Macky Sall, President of Senegal and Chair of the African Union criticized Western sanctions on Russia, which, he said, caused food and fertilizer prices to skyrocket, and increased food shortages across the region. (https://www.democracynow.org/2022/6/1/headlines/senegalese_president_criticizes_russia_sanctions_for_worsening_food_crisis).
Serbia Might Implement EU Sanctions: After being sworn in for a second term, Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic hinted that a new government might consider joining Western sanctions against Russia over the war in Ukraine. (https://www.independent.co.uk/news/aleksandar-vucic-ap-belgrade-russia-vladimir-putin-b2091003.html).
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).
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).
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/).
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).
Huawei Reportedly Suspends Business in Russia: Russian journalists are reporting that Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei has suspended sales in Russia. The reports stated that, while Huawei has not officially announced its withdrawal, the company is not responding to requests from Russian customers. (https://www.gizchina.com/2022/05/27/will-huawei-help-russia-bypass-sanctions/; Russian reporting https://www.kommersant.ru/doc/5367656).
Reports of Chinese Ship-to-Ship Transfers of Russian Oil: Bloomberg reported on Thursday that Chinese companies are using small vessels to meet Russian oil tankers at sea, and offloading crude oil in ship-to-ship transfers. These transactions are occurring not to avoid sanctions, but to make more efficient use of the dwindling number of available Russian tankers, as shipping and insurance companies avoid using Russian boats. (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-05-26/rare-ship-to-ship-transfers-keep-oil-moving-from-russia-to-china?srnd=premium-europe).
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).
Switzerland Prepared to Seize Assets of Viktor Yanukovich: The Swiss government announced plans on Wednesday to seize 100 million Swiss Francs in assets from Viktor Yanukovich, the former President of Ukraine ousted in 2014. The proceedings concern assets of Yuriy Ivanyushchenko, an associate of Yanukovich, and his family that were frozen after Ukraine’s 2014 revolution. (https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/swiss-move-seize-assets-ex-ukrainian-leaders-confidant-2022-05-25/).
Russia, Iran Engaged in Trade Negotiations: On Wednesday, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak met with various Iranian officials, including oil minister Javad Owji, to discuss increased trade ties, particularly in the energy space, between the countries. Negotiations also focused on Iran as a possible trade route between Russia and India. (https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/commodities/russia-iran-energy-talks-oil-exports-sanctions-trade-ukraine-war-2022-5).
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/).
Swedish Diplomats Meet in Turkey to Discuss Turkey’s Demands for NATO Membership: On Wednesday, Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson confirmed that Swedish diplomats were in Ankara, Turkey to discuss Turkey’s opposition to Sweden and Finland’s NATO bid. Turkey reportedly opposed their membership, in part, due to Sweden’s arms embargo on Turkey. (https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/eu-hopes-agree-russia-oil-sanctions-before-council-meeting-2022-05-25/).
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).
Suggestions of Sanctions Evasion Emerge in Switzerland: On Monday, SwissInfo reported that Russian fertilizer magnate Andrey Melnichenko handed over his stake in Swiss-based fertilizer company Eurochem to his wife shortly before he was added to EU sanctions lists. The Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (“SECO”), which administers sanctions in the country, said it was “powerless” to impose sanctions on Eurochem. (https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/sanctioned-russian–handed-swiss-company-over-to-wife-/47616972?utm_campaign=teaser-in-querylist&utm_medium=display&utm_content=o&utm_source=swissinfoch).
Turkey Calls for Sweden to Reduce Sanctions on Arms Sales in Exchange for NATO Membership: Speaking from the Turkish President’s office, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on Sweden to lift its sanctions on the country with respect to arms sales before it would support Sweden’s bid to join NATO. The country suspended arms sales to Turkey following a Turkish offensive in northern Syria in 2019. Sweden and Finland have both applied to join NATO as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but Turkey blocked their application. (https://www.wsj.com/livecoverage/russia-ukraine-latest-news-2022-05-23/card/turkish-president-demands-sweden-lift-arms-sales-restrictions-on-ankara-KeD1uaRSTR2WGFXe5CxI).
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).
Several Chinese Companies Stop Work in Russian LNG Extraction Project: Industry publications have said that at least five Chinese companies have stopped work on the Arctic LNG2 project in Russia due to EU sanctions on Russia. However, one Chinese fabricator told the South China Morning Post that it remained “in close communication with the parties involved” as the situation was “changing every day”. (https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/3178572/chinese-firms-told-stop-work-russian-arctic-lng-2-project-due?module=perpetual_scroll_0&pgtype=article&campaign=3178572).
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 Introduces Trade Ban on Luxury Goods with Russia: On Friday, Canada announced three new schedules as part of its Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations. The lists (i) prohibit certain Canadian goods from being supplied to Russia; (ii) prohibit certain Russian goods from being supplied to Canada; and (iii) prohibit the supply of certain Canadian materials that may be used to manufacture weapons. The new regulations have a 60-day wind down period. The luxury goods include alcohol, seafood, art, and jewelry. (https://www.international.gc.ca/world-monde/international_relations-relations_internationales/sanctions/russia_regulations-reglement_russie18.aspx?lang=eng).
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).
China Doubles Russian Coal Imports Between March and April: Trade data from Refinitiv indicates that Chinese coal imports from Russia doubled between March and April of 2022, often at reduced prices. China also announced that it had eliminated all tariffs on imported coal, which analysts expect to help Russia. (https://www.cnn.com/2022/05/20/business/russia-china-coal-trade-intl-hnk/index.html).
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/).
Fijian Appellate Court Hears Arguments in Yacht Seizure Case: On Wednesday, the Fijian appellate court heard arguments over the ownership of the Amadea yacht, currently docked in Fijian water and the subject of a US seizure order due to its alleged ties to a sanctioned oligarch. The final ruling in the case is expected to issue a ruling in the case in the next week or two. (https://www.npr.org/2022/05/19/1100002254/before-a-fiji-court-can-the-u-s-seize-a-russian-yacht-in-the-south-pacific).
Japan Doubles Economic Assistance to Ukraine: On Thursday, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced that Japan will provide an additional $300 million in financial assistance to Ukraine on top of the $300 million in assistance already committed to the country. Japan already signed a $100 million loan agreement as part of the initial $300 million in assistance on Monday. (https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2022/05/734e7ade5a99-japan-to-provide-additional-300-million-to-help-ukraine.html).
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).
Swiss Government Allows Traders to Determine if Russian Commodity Trades are “Strictly Necessary”: On Thursday, the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (“SECO”) announced that it would not be overseeing commodities trades involving Russian products to determine if they are “strictly necessary”, the standard required to avoid running afoul of sanctions, and instead leaving trading companies to decide for themselves if the trades are necessary. (https://www.reuters.com/markets/commodities/traders-can-decide-if-russian-commodities-deals-are-allowed-swiss-2022-05-17/).
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).
Canada Introduces Legislation Imposing Travel Ban on Sanctioned Individuals: On Tuesday, Canadian legislators introduced a bill that would ban individuals subject to Canadian sanctions from entering the country. To date, Canada has sanctioned over 1,000 individuals, and the travel ban would apply to these individuals and any accompanying family members. (https://www.wsj.com/livecoverage/russia-ukraine-latest-news-2022-05-17/card/canada-to-ban-sanctioned-russians-and-putin-allies-from-entering-country-yMPmHf40lqo6p78oTcoo).
New Zealand Considering Sanctions on Alexander Abramov: Late Monday, New Zealand Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta stated that the New Zealand government is considering imposing sanctions on Alexander Abramov, the co-founder and Chairman of Evraz steel. Abramov owns several luxury properties in New Zealand and is involved in multiple New Zealand construction projects. (https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/russia-war-on-ukraine-nz-considering-sanctions-on-billionaire-oligarch-alexander-abramov-nanaia-mahuta-says/OVWPBJW6ELKNIXSRKGPPRUBUJE/).
Google Blocks Paid App Updates in Belarus: On Tuesday, Google announced that it had blocked downloads of paid apps and updates of already-purchased paid apps on its Google Play platform in Belarus. The company has already placed similar restrictions on paid app purchases in Russia. (https://www.androidpolice.com/google-blocking-paid-app-updates-belarus-russia/).
Japan Seeking Alternatives to Russian Coal: On Tuesday, the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry released an announcement that it was actively seeking new sources of coal for its industrial base. Though Russia supplies relatively little coal to Japan overall, it is the second-largest supplier of thermal coal and third-largest supplier of coking coal, two specialized coal types, to the country. Japan specifically cited Australia, Indonesia, and Vietnam as potential replacements. (https://www.spglobal.com/commodityinsights/en/market-insights/latest-news/metals/051722-japan-companies-accelerate-move-to-replace-russia-coal-with-australian-supply-others).
New Zealand Sanctions Belarusian Leadership:On Monday, New Zealand announced new sanctions on 27 Belarusian officials, including President Alexander Lukashenko and military leaders. New Zealand had previously placed 12 Belarusian individuals on a travel ban list; the new restrictions will bar their travel to New Zealand and block them from holding assets or doing business in New Zealand. (https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/128658886/government-sanctions-belarusian-leaders-and-military-for-support-of-ukraine-invasion).
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).
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).
India Blocks Wheat Exports in Response to Domestic and Global Shortages: In a Friday statement in the national gazette, the Government of India announced that it was banning all exports of wheat with immediate effect. The move was done to reduce domestic prices, as the war in Ukraine is disrupting global grain supply and a heatwave in India reduces domestic output. India is the world’s second largest producer of wheat. (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/may/14/india-bans-all-wheat-exports-food-security-risk#:~:text=India%2C%20the%20world%27s%20second%20largest,a%20heatwave%20affected%20the%20crop.).
Swiss Government Reduces Amount of Frozen Russian Assets: On Friday, the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (“SECO”) announced that it currently has 6.3 billion Swiss francs ($6.33 billion) of Russian assets frozen. This is a decrease from the announced 7.5 billion in Swiss francs frozen on April 7. SECO added that 11 properties in Switzerland have been blocked, to date. (https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/switzerland-releases-chf3-billion-of-frozen-russia-sanctions/47590508).
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/).
Diamond Sanctions Disrupting Indian Market: Sanctions on Russian diamond mining giant Alrosa has disrupted the international diamond trade. Processors in India rely on Russia for their supply, and US legislators are seeking to close loopholes on that allow India to export Russian diamonds processed in India without penalty. Diamond processors in India note that, if they are cut off from Russian supplies, they will not have a replacement market ready (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2022-05-12/luxury-brands-hunt-for-supply-as-russia-sanctions-hit-diamond-giants).