UK to extend professional services ban and expand trade sanctions
On 30 September, 2022, the UK Government announced a new suite of sanctions in response to annexation of the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia by Russia (see here). The announcement indicates that the UK will extend the professional services ban currently place and also expand existing trade sanctions targeting Russia. The precise scope of and guidance related to these measures is not clear from the announcement. Under the new measures, we note the following:
As with previous announcements over the past few months, these measures will come into force when the implementing legislation is laid before and passed through Parliament. This could happen in the coming days, weeks or months. We will continue to monitor developments closely.
Tighter Export Controls on Electronics Could Hamper Russia’s War Effort: According to a report published by UK think tank the Royal United Services Institute, Russia’s military could be unable to operate the high-tech weapons and communications systems it has been using in Ukraine if the West were to tighten its export control regime. The report states that almost all of Moscow’s modern military systems depend on western-made microelectronics. (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-62464459).
The UK’s Ministry of Defence has Raised Concerns about Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant: The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant has been under Russian control since March. In its daily intelligence briefing, the UK’s Ministry of Defence said that while Russia’s intentions for the plant remain unclear, “the actions they have undertaken at the facility have likely undermined the security and safety of the plant’s normal operations”. (https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2022/aug/05/russia-ukraine-war-live-news-three-more-grain-ships-to-leave-ukraine-turkey-says-russia-claims-ground-in-donbas?filterKeyEvents=false&page=with:block-62ecbb438f08cf8820edc806).
UK Amends General Trade Licence on Vessels: The General Licence provides regulation on the provision of technical assistance, financial services and funds, and brokering services related to vessels. This amendment, which comes into force on August 1, 2022, enables the provision of insurance and reinsurance to a person connected with Russia in relation to vessels, aircrafts and aero gas turbine engines, subject to the wider restrictions and conditions of the licence. (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/general-trade-licence-russia-sanctions-vessels).
OFSI Extends General Licence relating to Rosbank: OFSI has extended general licence INT/2022/1968500 authorising the wind down of position involving Rosbank PJSC (Rosbank) or any entity owned or controlled by Rosbank by two months. The general licence now expires on 30 September 2022. (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1095281/Publication_Notice_-_INT.2022.1968500.pdf)
British Parliament Debates Effectiveness of UK Sanctions: In a Backbench Business Committee debate on “Human Rights Abuses and Corruption: UK Sanctions” on July 21, 2022, British MPs called for sanctions to be imposed on Russians and Ukrainians linked to human rights violations and corruption, and for further coordination on sanctions with international partners. Sir Iain Duncan Smith also urged for increased Government reporting on the use of sanctions and for further commitment on the confiscation of frozen Russian assets by the Government. (https://www.parallelparliament.co.uk/debate/2022-07-21/commons/commons-chamber/human-rights-abuses-and-corruption-uk-sanctions).
OFSI Issues General License Relating to UK Insurance: On July 22, 2022, OFSI issued a general license (INT/2022/2009156) permitting sanctioned individuals or entities to make payments to UK insurers for insurance premiums and broker commissions relating to the provision of building and engineering insurance cover provided to UK properties. It also permits UK insurers to make payments to sanctioned persons due as a result of a successful claim made against an insurance policy. The general license is of infinite duration. (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1093220/INT-2022-2009156__Publication_Notice.pdf).
MP Confirms Sanctions Do Not Affect Medicines and Food Supplies: In answer to a question on the TheyWorkForYou website on July 21, Andrew Griffith, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for the Department for International Trade, confirmed that UK “sanctions against Russia do not target exports of medicines, nor do they seek to impede delivery of food supplies or humanitarian assistance”. (https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2022-07-13.35926.h&s=russia).
Evraz Plc Denies Supplying Steel to Russian Military: London-listed Russian steelmaker, Evraz Plc, on Thursday stressed that its products are supplied in Russia only for civilian use in the infrastructure and construction sectors. Shares in Evraz have remained suspended since March, when the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority acted “in order to protect investors pending clarification of the impact of UK sanctions“. (https://www.morningstar.co.uk/uk/news/AN_1658479637120629500/evraz-denies-supplying-steel-to-russian-military.aspx).
UK Introduces New Sanctions Including Professional Services Ban and Expanded Trade Sanctions: On July 21, 2022, the UK adopted the Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) (Amendment) (No. 14) Regulations 2022, imposing further restrictions. The new restrictions include:
o Prohibitions on the export, supply and delivery, and making available of items listed on the G7 Dependencies and Further Goods List to, or for use in Russia, as well as related services. The list includes chemicals, materials, machinery goods and electrical appliances.
o Expanded prohibitions on energy-related goods and services, which now include:
– the export of energy-related goods to Russia, regardless of their eventual point of use;
– the making available of energy-related goods to a person connected with Russia; and
– the provision of energy-related services (such as drilling or well testing) to all oil and gas exploration and production projects in Russia.
o Prohibitions on the provision of accounting, business and management consulting, and public relations services to persons connected to Russia, including Russian residents who are temporarily located in another country, such as the UK (see also the item below).
o Prohibitions on the import, acquisition and supply or delivery of:
– oil and oil products (enters into force on 31 December 2022); and
– coal and coal products (enters into force on 10 August 2022);
that originate in Russia, as well as the provision of related services.
o Prohibitions on the import, acquisition or supply and delivery of gold that originates in Russia on or after the 21 July 2022, as well as ancillary services.
UK Professional Services Ban Enters into Force: On 21 July 2022, the UK introduced certain anticipated professional and business services prohibitions under UK sanctions. In particular, it is now prohibited for a person to directly or indirectly provide, to a person connected with Russia: accounting services; business and management consulting services; or public relations services. (https://www.icaew.com/insights/viewpoints-on-the-news/2022/Jul-2022/Prohibition-on-provision-of-accountancy-services-to-Russia-comes-into-force).
UK Amends Ban On Aviation Technical Assistance: Aviation technical assistance measures introduced in the Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) (Amendment) (No. 7) Regulations 2022 which apply to “Russian aircraft” have now been amended to allow necessary technical assistance for temporarily detained aircraft in the ownership of suspected designated persons. (https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2022/850/regulation/17/made).
RPC Produces Opinion on Ban on New Outward Investments to Russia: The UK’s Regulatory Policy Committee has produced an impact assessment on the ban of new outward investments to Russia. The opinion found that the measures were fit for purpose, stating “[t]he assessments of impacts on business are limited but proportionate for this [impact assessment].” (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1092948/2022-07-08-RPC-HMT-5207_1_-_Ban_on_new_outward_investments_to_Russia__002_.pdf).
National Crime Agency Calls for More Funding to tackle Russian Kleptocracy: On July 21, 2022, it was reported that the UK’s serious and organised crime-fighting force has complained it is struggling to tackle Russian kleptocracy and sanctions evasion because it is given only a third of the funding per officer handed to the FBI. (https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/jul/21/national-crime-agency-calls-for-more-funding-to-tackle-russian-kleptocracy).
UK Sanctions on £1.7 Billion Worth of Goods Comes Into Force: The new package of sanctions on Russia and Belarus targeting £1.7 billion worth of trade, announced on May 9, 2022, has now come into force on July 20. As of today, an additional 35% tariff applies on products such as chemicals, platinum, and palladium, as well as Russian whitefish. (https://view.officeapps.live.com/op/view.aspx?src=https%3A%2F%2Fassets.publishing.service.gov.uk%2Fgovernment%2Fuploads%2Fsystem%2Fuploads%2Fattachment_data%2Ffile%2F1091365%2Fuk-product-list-additional-duties-on-products-originating-from-russia-and-belarus.odt&wdOrigin=BROWSELINK; https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-punishes-putin-with-new-round-of-sanctions-on-17-billion-of-goods)
UK Updates Investment Restrictions Relating to Russia: On July 19, 2022 the UK’s Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) (Amendment) (No. 12) Regulations 2022 came into force, introducing new investment restrictions. The new restrictions prohibit certain investment activities, including: the acquisition of Russian land, entities or places of business; establishing joint ventures; and, the provision of investment services for these purposes. (https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2022/801/contents/made).
OFSI Issues New General Licence Relating to Outward Investment Ban: On July 19, 2022, OFSI issued a new general licence (INT/2022/2002560), which allows for a 7-day wind down period in respect of the outward investment ban outlined in the Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) (Amendment) (No. 12) Regulations 2022. The general licence expires on July 26, 2022. (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1092029/Outward_Investment_Wind_Down_GL_.pdf).
Scope of Firms With Financial Sanctions Reporting Obligations Increased: On July 19, 2022, OFSI adopted The Sanctions (EU Exit) (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2022 and The Sanctions (EU Exit) (Miscellaneous Amendments) (No.2) Regulations 2022, which extend the definition of “relevant firms” that have financial sanctions reporting obligations. From August 30, 2022, cryptoasset exchange providers and custodian wallet providers will be required to notify OFSI of certain information as soon as practicable when encountering a designated person in the course of their business. (https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2022/819/contents/made; https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2022/818/contents/made).
OSFI Update Russia Sanctions Guidance: On July 19, 2022, OFSI updated its Russia Guidance on financial and investment restrictions. There is now a new section on investments in Russia. It also updates the FAQs section to reflect the Russia financial sanctions that have come into force since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1092033/OFSI_Russia_guidance_July_2022.pdf).
UK Court Relaxes Freezing Order on Sanctioned Russian’s Bank Accounts: According toBloomberg, a UK court has relaxed a freezing order on some of the bank accounts linked to sanctioned Russian billionaire, Petr Aven, to allow him to pay for bills and security of his property in England. The court order, made public on July 18, 2022, is part of a wider legal investigation over allegations that Aven was evading sanctions. (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-07-19/russian-billionaire-haggles-with-uk-over-expenses-at-mansion#xj4y7vzkg).
YouGov Survey Finds Less Britons Now Support Sanctions: Surveys published by YouGov on Tuesday show that only 38% of Britons say they would support keeping the current sanctions against Russia if it means an increase in the overall cost of living, down from 48% in March. Further, 45% of Britons say they would support the current sanctions against Russia even in the face of “an increase in energy prices”, but 41% disagree. Those in the lowest income households appear less likely to support keeping current sanctions. (https://yougov.co.uk/topics/politics/articles-reports/2022/07/19/britons-tend-support-keeping-russia-sanctions-face).
UK Updates Trade Sanctions Instruments Relating to Russia: On July 15, 2022, the UK adopted the Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) (Amendment) (No. 11) Regulations 2022 to revoke and replace the Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) (Amendment) (No. 10) Regulations 2022. The Amendment corrects a small number of errors in the revoked statutory instrument but otherwise maintains the same provisions. These primarily focus on trade restrictions relating to inter alia interception and monitoring services, maritime goods and maritime technology, goods and technology exported to non-government controlled Ukrainian territory and certain iron and steel goods. (The Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) (Amendment) (No. 11) Regulations 2022 (legislation.gov.uk)).
UK Updates Designation Criteria under Russia Sanctions: On July 18, 2022, the UK adopted the Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) (Amendment) (No. 13) Regulations 2022. The Amendment specifies additional activities for which a person may be designated and broadens the interpretation of being “associated” with a designated person. The Amendment also provides for a new exception from trade sanctions measures for humanitarian assistance activity, and corrects drafting errors. (The Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) (Amendment) (No. 13) Regulations 2022 (legislation.gov.uk)).
UK Summons Russian Ambassador: The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office has summoned the Russian Ambassador over reports of the death of a British aid worker. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said “[t]he Russian government and its proxies are continuing to commit atrocities. Those responsible will be held to account.” (UK summons Russian Ambassador – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)).
HMRC Answers Questions on Russia Sanctions from Treasury Committee: On July 18, 2022, the UK Treasury Committee published a letter from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) dated 8 July providing responses to certain questions raised as to HMRC’s responsibilities regarding trade sanctions, including the extent of HMRC’s involvement in designing the recent trade sanctions against Russia. (https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/23112/documents/169297/default/).
UK Intelligence Indicates Russia is Using Private Mercenary Group: In an intelligence update released on Monday, British military intelligence claims that the Wagner Group, a Russian paramilitary organization, is lowering its recruiting standards – hiring convicts and formerly blacklisted individuals in an attempt to reinforce Russian front-lines. Both Prigozhin and the Kremlin denied any connection to the organization. (https://www.cnbc.com/2022/07/18/russia-relying-on-wagner-in-ukraine-that-is-hiring-convicts-uk-says.html).
Former PM Says Ukraine War Shows West’s Dominance is Ending as China Rises: British Prime Minister Tony Blair announced during a lecture titled, “After Ukraine, What Lessons Now for Western Leadership?” that the world could be seeing the end of “Western political and economic dominance.” He said this would allow China to become more powerful, as Russia leans on China for more support. (https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/ukraine-war-shows-wests-dominance-is-ending-china-rises-blair-says-2022-07-17/).
Two Entries Removed From UK Sanctions List: On July 15, 2022, the UK removed the following two individuals from the UK Sanctions List: Didier Casimiro and Zeljko Runje. (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1090981/Notice_Russia_140722.pdf).
UK Confirms Position on Payment of State Pensions Following Sanctions: In answer to a question on the TheyWorkForYou website, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Guy Opperman, confirmed that due to sanctions on Russian banks, the payment of the State Pension to claimants, where payment was going directly to any Russian bank which has been sanctioned, has been suspended. If those claimants open an alternative account with a non-sanctioned bank, then payment will resume. (https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2022-07-06.31711.h&p=10594).
FCA Publishes Letter Regarding its Sanctions Responsibilities: On July 11, 2022, there was published a letter by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to the House of Commons’ Treasury Committee regarding the regulator’s financial sanctions responsibilities. In the letter, the FCA addressed its responsibilities for financial sanctions and covers the following topics: the current level of awareness and compliance at authorised firms of their obligations; how the FCA feeds into the design, implementation and enforcement of financial sanctions; and, how the FCA shares intelligence with OFSI. (https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/23023/documents/168751/default/).
UK Trade Remedies Authority (TRA) Warns of Fall in Rebar Supplies: The Trade Remedies Authority, a non-departmental public body of the Department for International Trade, warns there will be a fall in Reinforcement Bar supplies due to the war in Ukraine and sanctions against Russia and Belarus. It has therefore proposed that existing anti-dumping measures on imports of High Fatigue Performance Steel Concrete Reinforcement Bars (HFP Rebar) from China be revoked. (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-tra-proposes-anti-dumping-measures-on-hfp-rebar-from-china-be-removed).
UK Announces Support Package For War Crime Investigations: In a speech at the Ukraine Accountability Conference in The Hague, Minister of State at the Foreign Office Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon will on July 14, 2022 announce a new £2.5 million support package to assist the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine (OPG) with investigating war crimes committed in Ukraine, including conflict-related sexual violence. (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/lord-ahmad-announces-uk-support-package-for-war-crimes-investigations).
OFSI and NCA Issue Red Alert Evasion Typologies Regarding Sanctioned Russians: In conjunction with OFSI, the JMLIT+ Sanctions Facilitators Cell, law enforcement, private industry and regulators, the National Crime Agency (“NCA”) have issued a “Red Alert” on financial sanctions evasion typologies by Russian elites and enablers. The alert provides information on some of the common techniques designated persons and their UK enablers are suspected to be using to evade financial sanctions. (https://www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/who-we-are/publications/605-necc-financial-sanctions-evasion-russian-elites-and-enablers/file)
UK Warns Against Ransomware Payments Following Russian Sanctions: In a letter addressed to UK lawyers the UK’s National Cyber Security Center (“NCSC”) and the Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”), have advised against paying a ransom, explaining that Russian sanctions could make such payments to Russian hackers technically illegal. Ignorance of the attackers’ nationality would be a dangerous tactic, since the NCSC specifically states that it would know. (https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/files/Joint-ICO-and-NCSC-letter-to-The-Law-Society-and-The-Bar-Council.pdf)
UK Government Updates Travel Advice for Russia: On July 12, 2022, the UK Government updated its foreign travel advice relating to Russia to include new information on the security checks required in Russia on foreign nationals, including Britons. (https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/russia).
Petropavolvsk Plans to File for Administration: Petropavolvsk, which was once the biggest gold miner listed on the London Stock exchange, plans to file for administration this week as it struggles to refinance its borrowings and seeks a buyer for its mines in Russia’s far east. On Tuesday, the company asked for trading in its shares to be suspended in London and said it would seek a hearing at the High Court in the “coming days”. (https://www.ft.com/content/e4371df1-30bb-48a7-b5c6-fdc47cdfdd84)
FCA Issues Policy Statement for Investors Following Invasion of Ukraine:The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have issued a policy statement (PS22/8) on “Protecting investors in authorised funds following the Russian invasion of Ukraine”. The statement sets out final rules and guidance which allow authorised fund managers to create separate unit classes (side pockets) for retail investment funds affected by the invasion of Ukraine. (https://www.fca.org.uk/publication/policy/ps22-8.pdf)
Loophole Could Be Used to Continue Import of Russian Oil Following Ban:According to an article in The Times, even when a ban on Russian oil comes into effect, Britain could continue importing refined Russian fuel from third-party countries, if it is mixed with oil supplies from other sources. According to data fromRefinitiv, Britain has purchased seven million barrels of Russian-origin diesel worth £800million since the war in Ukraine began. (https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/war-in-ukraine-britain-could-end-up-buying-russian-fuel-after-embargo-j5bb8kmqr?amp)
Trade Secretary Launches UK-Ukraine Infrastructure Taskforce: On July 11, 2022, the British International Trade Secretary, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, launched the UK-Ukraine Infrastructure Taskforce alongside Ukrainian Minister for Infrastructure Oleksandr Kubrakov. Longer term, the task force will provide expertise on the delivery of sustainable infrastructure through UK-based businesses and £3.5 billion of financial capacity for UK exporters and Ukrainian buyers. (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/trade-secretary-launches-uk-ukraine-infrastructure-taskforce).
Russian Official Cheers Boris Johnson’s Demise: Speaking in a public appearance on Thursday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was asked for his reaction to the abrupt resignation of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Peskov said, “He doesn’t like us, we don’t like him either.” (https://www.cnbc.com/2022/07/08/russia-cheers-boris-johnsons-demise-as-world-reacts-to-the-uks-political-drama.html).
OFSI Issues General Licence Relating to Humanitarian Activity: On July 7, 2022, OFSI issued general licence (INT/2022/1947936), which allows people seeking to undertake humanitarian activity in relation to the conflict in Ukraine to do so without the need to apply for individual licences from OFSI, and instead rely on the permissions within this general licence. The general licence has effect indefinitely. (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1089102/General_Licence_INT-2022-1947936_.pdf; https://ofsi.blog.gov.uk/2022/07/07/ofsi-issues-humanitarian-activity-general-licence-under-russia-sanctions-regime/).
UK MP Asked If Secondary Sanctions Would Be Imposed on China: In a question on the TheyWorkForYou website, British Member of Parliament Vicky Ford was asked if secondary sanctions would be imposed on China. While Ford did not answer the question directly, she explained “The UK continues to engage with China at all levels in Beijing, London and at the UN to make it clear that the world is watching what China chooses to say and do”. (https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2022-06-29.27667.h&s=russia).
13 Russia-Related Entries Added Onto the UK Sanctions List: On June 29, 2022, the UK added a further 13 entities and individuals onto the UK Sanctions List. The new sanctions target President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle and include Anna Tsivileva, Putin’s first cousin one removed and President of the prominent Russian coal mining company, JSC Kolmar Group. (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1086638/Notice_Russia_290622.pdf)
UK Sanctions Russia’s Vladimir Potanin: Amongst those sanctioned today is Vladimir Potanin, Russia’s second richest man and owner of major conglomerate Interros. Potanin is also the chief executive and main shareholder of Siberian mining company Norilsk Nickel, which dominates the world’s supply of nickel and palladium. The UK Government said “Potanin continues to amass wealth as he supports Putin’s regime, acquiring Rosbank, and shares in Tinkoff Bank in the period since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.” (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-sanctions-russias-second-richest-man; https://www.ft.com/content/681cbb78-95d5-428e-85b0-00abf2383e42).
Charity Commission Opens Inquiry into the Potanin Foundation: The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into The Potanin Foundation, after the charity’s founder Mr. Vladimir Potanin was sanctioned by the UK government. (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/commission-opens-inquiry-into-the-potanin-foundation-as-founder-sanctioned).
UK Working to Prevent Russia Accessing UK Trusts Services: In a statement on Wednesday, the UK government announced it is acting alongside international allies to introduce new measures that will prevent Russia from accessing UK trusts services. These services, which allow a person or business to manage the assets of another, are another major element of the UK’s world-class financial services sector that Russia will no longer be able to use. (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-sanctions-russias-second-richest-man).
UK Sanctions Russian Supporters of Syria’s Assad Regime: In addition to the 13 individuals above, the UK Government announced on Wednesday that it is also sanctioning a group of 7 Russian individuals and companies for their involvement in repressing civilians and supporting the Assad regime in Syria, “exposing Russia’s malign activity across the globe”. (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1086642/Notice_Syria_290622.pdf).
Russia-Ukraine War Exposes AML Loopholes, According to Survey: According to a survey conducted in May 2022 indicates, 34 percent of firms in the finance and banking sector and 47 percent of those in the legal sector have not updated their approach to new customers since the sanctions against Russia were imposed. The survey reveals “continuing shortfalls in the way some regulated firms check on new and continuing customers and continue to rely on hard-copy documents rather than digital checks to identify them”. (https://www.mortgagestrategy.co.uk/news/russia-ukraine-war-exposes-aml-loopholes-smartsearch/)
UK Offers Support To Ukraine’s Science & Technology and Research Sectors: The Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a series of measures to support Ukraine’s Science & Technology and research sectors, through a Researchers at Risk scheme. The scheme enables Ukrainian academics to continue their research at UK institutions and provides a salary, research and living costs for up to two years for these researchers. (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-uk-package-offers-a-lifeline-to-ukrainian-researchers-and-entrepreneurs)
UK To Introduce New Sanctions This Week: On June 27, 2022, UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba wrote a joint article in The Telegraph announcing the UK will introduce further sanctions this week “to cut Russia off from its key sources of foreign income: energy and other exports such as gold.” The article confirmed the UK is increasing its sanctions, with further legislation this week on a range of trade bans, and more to come over the next month. (https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/joint-article-by-british-and-ukrainian-foreign-ministers)
Prime Minister to Urge G7 Into Action Over Food Shortages: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will call on world leaders to take urgent action to get essential food supplies out of Ukraine at the G7 Summit. The Prime Minister will say on Monday that “global leaders need to come together and apply their combined economic and political heft to help Ukraine and make life easier for households across the world. Nothing should be off the table.” (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/pm-to-tell-g7-leaders-we-must-end-putins-stranglehold-on-food-prices)
UK to Delay New Import Controls on EU Goods Due to Russian Invasion: A publication from the UK Government has confirmed the remaining import controls on EU goods that were due to come into effect on July 1, 2022, will not be imposed when planned, due to “rising costs caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine”. Instead, the revised introduction date is set to be at the end of 2023. The delay should save British businesses up to £1 billion in annual costs. (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1083393/2022-06-15_Border_Operating_Model__1_.pdf).
UK Joins Canada, US and Japan in Banning Imports of Russian Gold: In a press release on June 26, 2022, the UK announced new exports of Russian gold will no longer be allowed to enter the UK, Canada, US and Japan thanks to tough new measures to be announced at the G7 Summit. Due to London’s role as a major global gold trading hub, the new sanctions are expected to have a huge impact on Putin’s ability to raise funds. The ban will come into force “shortly”. (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-sanctions-russian-gold-exports).
UK to Provide Additional $525 Million In Guarantees for Ukraine: In response to the Ukrainian Government’s fears that it could run out of funding by the autumn, the UK announced it stands ready to provide another $525 million (or £429 million) in guarantees for World Bank lending later this year. The new support announced today brings the total amount of fiscal support including UK loan guarantees to £1.3 billion ($1.5 billion) and the combined UK economic and humanitarian support to Ukraine to £1.5 billion ($1.8 billion) this year. (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/pm-to-say-to-g7-leaders-we-must-keep-up-our-resolve-on-ukraine)
Boris Johnson Pledges to “Back Ukraine Every Step of the Way”: In an interview with CNN on Sunday, the Prime Minister said “[T]he UK will continue to back Ukraine every step of the way”. (https://edition.cnn.com/2022/06/26/politics/boris-johnson-cnntv/index.html).
General Licence Relating to PJSC Sberbank Expires: The general licence (INT/2022/1277877) permitting correspondent banking relationships and processing sterling payments from PJSC Sberbank expired on June 24, 2022. (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1060449/Amended_Final_Notice_INT.2022.1277778.pdf)
Foreign Secretary Accuses Russia of “Weaponising Hunger”: In a press statement in Ankara, the UK’s Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said the UK and Turkey are working to get 20 million tons of trapped grain out of Ukraine. Truss accused Russia of using food security as a tool of war and “weaponising hunger”. (https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/foreign-secretarys-press-conference-statement-in-turkey-june-2022).
Moscow’s Anglican Chaplain Condemns UK’s Sanctions: In a letter to The Times, the chaplain of St Andrew’s, Moscow, Reverend Canon Malcolm Rogers, has criticised the UK government’s decision to impose sanctions on the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, for his support of Russia’s military aggression in Ukraine. (https://anglican.ink/2022/06/23/moscows-anglican-chaplain-condemns-sanctions-against-russian-patriarch/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=moscows-anglican-chaplain-condemns-sanctions-against-russian-patriarch).
OFSI Aims to Upscale Operations and Introduce New Functions: In a discussion with the Treasury Committee this week, the director of OFSI, Giles Thomson, said the agency plans to up its in-house expertise, improve guidance for businesses and put in place a formal whistle-blowing function to assist with increasing levels of reporting. (https://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/d7a380f5-e4a7-47b0-b873-29fc33ad35be).
UK Adopts Further Russia Trade Sanctions on Exports: On June 23, 2022, the UK introduced a new tranche of trade sanctions on Russia. The new measures include prohibitions on the export of (and related services):
o Internal repression goods and technology;
o Goods and technology relating to chemical and biological weapons;
o Maritime goods and technology;
o Additional oil refining goods and technology;
o Additional critical industry goods and technology;
o Jet fuel and fuel additives to, or for use in, Russia;
o Sterling or EU denominated banknotes to, or for use in, Russia;
o The provision of certain services relating to iron and steel imports.
Certain of the above prohibitions extend to exports to the non-government controlled Ukrainian territory. (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/notice-to-exporters-202218-introduction-of-additional-sanctions-against-russia/nte-202218-introduction-of-additional-sanctions-against-russia; https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2022/689/contents/made)
UK Extends Existing Import Sanctions Measures: On June 23, 2022, the UK Department for International Trade published a notice to importers (NTI 2953) setting out details of a prohibition on the import of certain “revenue generating goods” as well as the acquisition, supply and delivery, directly or indirectly, of revenue generating goods that originate in or are consigned from Russia. The provision of technical assistance, financial services and funds and brokering services relating to these goods is also now prohibited. (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/notice-to-importers-2953-russia-import-sanctions/nti-2953-russia-import-sanctions).
Russian OSCE Delegation Denied British Visas: On June 22, 2022, members of the Russian delegation to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (“OSCE”) were denied British visas to attend a session in the UK next month, due to sanctions. (https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/members-russian-delegation-osce-denied-british-visas-lawmaker-says-2022-06-22/).
Director of OFSI Predicts Russian Sanctions Litigation: Giles Thomson, the director of OFSI, told a Treasury Committee live stream that legal challenges against sanctions imposed on Russia were already starting to filter through. He added OFSI are “expecting to come up against further litigation in the future.” (https://www.fnlondon.com/articles/uk-sanctions-boss-predicts-pushback-from-lawyers-over-russia-crackdown-20220622).
Chelsea Sale to Net £2.35bn for Charity: According to Christopher Watts, deputy director of OFSI, the sale of Chelsea Football Club is set to see £2.35bn go to charity to help people caught up in the war in Ukraine. (https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/roman-abramovich-chelsea-ukraine-russia-stamford-bridge-b1007777.html).
Government Issues New Russia Sanctions Guidance: The UK Government has updated its statutory guidance on Russian sanctions to clarify the application of the prohibition on providing insurance and reinsurance services in relation to aviation and space goods and technology. (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/russia-sanctions-guidance/russia-sanctions-guidance).
UK Determined to Impose More Sanctions on Russia: In a statement to Parliament on June 21, 2022, British Foreign Minister, Liz Truss said the UK was “determined to provide more weapons, impose more sanctions and back Ukraine in pushing Russia out of their territory.” (https://www.reuters.com/world/uk/uk-impose-more-sanctions-russia-foreign-secretary-says-2022-06-21/).
British Foreign Minister Due in Turkey to Discuss Grain Block: Liz Truss has said she will be travelling to Turkey on Wednesday to discuss options to help free up 25 million tonnes of grain trapped in Odesa, saying that there was only a matter of weeks to find a solution. (https://www.reuters.com/world/uk/uk-impose-more-sanctions-russia-foreign-secretary-says-2022-06-21/).
House of Commons Committee To Hold Evidence Session with OFSI: On June 22, 2022, the House of Commons Treasury Committee will question the OFSI Director Giles Thomas and Deputy Director Christopher Watts as part of its inquiry into effective economic sanctions on Russia. The session will be streamed live on Parliament TV at 14:15 BST. Topics of discussion are likely to include whether the UK sanctions regime is sufficiently effective and the monetary penalties issued by OFSI. (https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/158/treasury-committee/news/171526/effectiveness-of-uks-sanctions-regime-scrutinised/).
Government Provides Data on UK’s Humanitarian Response to Russian Invasion: The Government has published transparency data explaining how the UK is providing humanitarian assistance to support people in Ukraine and its neighbouring countries following the Russian invasion. The data confirms that Britain is providing £220 million of humanitarian assistance. (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-governments-humanitarian-response-to-russias-invasion-of-ukraine-facts-and-figures/uk-governments-humanitarian-response-to-russias-invasion-of-ukraine-facts-and-figures).
Prime Minister Repeats The UK Supports Ukraine In The “Long Haul”: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned of “Ukraine Fatigue” upon his return from Ukraine on Saturday, repeating that the UK was committed to providing strategic resilience “for the long haul”. (https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/britain-must-keep-up-support-kyiv-amid-ukraine-fatigue-pm-boris-johnson-2022-06-18/).
MP Calls for Action Against Countries Helping Russia Circumvent Sanctions: In an interview with Guidhall, British MP, Sir Roger Gale, has said the UK Parliament is calling for action against third countries helping Russia circumvent sanctions and “we should do everything in in our power and to apply any pressure we can and should apply to any third country that seeks to strengthen Putin’s war machine.” (https://thetimeshub.in/british-parliament-calls-for-action-against-countries-helping-russia-to-circumvent-sanctions/122/).
Prime Minister Promises to Intensify Sanctions: In a press conference in Kyiv on June 17, 2022, Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised to “continue to help intensify the sanctions on Putin’s regime”. The Prime Minister also repeated his previous pledges to help with world food shortages and to “continue to strengthen the diplomatic coalition around the world for Ukraine”. (https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/prime-ministers-remarks-at-a-press-conference-in-kyiv-17-june-2022).
UK Trade Minister Discusses Measures In Support of Ukraine at WTO Conference: In a statement following the conclusion of the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference in Geneva, the UK’s International Trade Secretary, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, said she convened Ministers to discuss “trade measures in support of Ukraine.” Trevelyan also clarified that Russia’s presence at the conference did not represent a normalization of trade relations between the UK and Russia. (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-statement-following-the-conclusion-of-the-wto-ministerial-conference).
11 UK Companies With Alleged Links To Designated Persons Avoided Sanctions: According to the Byline Times, 11 UK companies have been found which, despite their links to designated persons, have not been sanctioned. (https://bylinetimes.com/2022/06/17/no-sanctions-applied-to-11-uk-firms-with-links-to-sanctioned-russians/).
UK Reports Millions Of Russians Attempting To Leave Country: In a tweet on June 17, 2022, the UK’s Ministry of Defense stated that around 15,000 millionaires are likely attempting to leave Russia, according to migration applications. The tweet claimed the motivation for these applications is highly likely to be an intent to escape the financial impact of the sanctions imposed on Russia. (https://twitter.com/DefenceHQ/status/1537677492433170433).
UK Accused of Declaring Religious War on Russia: TV host Vladimir Solovyov launched an extraordinary diatribe against UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss after she announced sanctions against Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church. The TV host, known as ‘Putin’s Voice’ and one of Russia‘s chief propagandists, said the “place for [Liz Truss] is hell” after the move, and suggested the foreign secretary was “declaring a religious war against Russia”. (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10926595/Putins-ranting-TV-stooge-says-place-Liz-Truss-hell-Britain-sanctioned-Patriarch.html).
UK Stands By Decision to Seize Superyacht: The government has stood by its decision to seize the Phi, a £38 million superyacht, in London, after the captain of the boat slammed the move as a “PR stunt” and said ministers had “got the wrong guy.” The Department for Transport alleges the boat’s owner is an individual “seeking to benefit from connections to Putin’s regime”. (https://metro.co.uk/2022/06/16/london-government-defence-russian-superyacht-seizure-in-canary-wharf-16842317/).
UK Adds 12 Entries To The UK Sanctions List: On June 16, 2022, the UK Government added another 12 individuals and entities to the UK Sanctions List, targeting “enablers and perpetrators of Putin’s war”. The new additions included Maria Lvova-Belova, Russian Children’s Rights Commissioner, who is accused of abducting Ukrainian children; Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church; and Four Military Colonels from the 64th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade. (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1083380/Notice_Russia_160622.pdf).
UK Foreign Secretary Pledges to “Keep Increasing The Pressure” On Russia: In an oral statement to Parliament, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss updated the House of Commons on the Government’s support for Ukraine. Truss repeated that the UK was committed to supporting Ukraine for “the long haul” and said “in the long run there must be consequences for Russia’s actions.” The Foreign Secretary also announced the UK was still committed to ending “Russia’s attack on global food security”. (https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/ukraine-foreign-secretarys-statement-16-june-2022).
UK Introduces Myanmar Sanctions To “Cut Putin Off From Profiting”: The UK has added three Myanmar arms brokers who supply the Myanmar Air Force, as they are heavily reliant on Russian air assets. The UK’s Foreign Secretary said this would “cut Putin off from profiting from sales that fund his war machine.” (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-sanctions-russian-linked-to-forced-transfers-and-adoptions).
OFSI Updates Enforcement and Monetary Penalties Guidance: On June 15, 2022, OFSI published updated guidance on monetary penalties for breaches of financial sanctions. The updated guidance reflects the new strict liability standard for civil enforcement in respect of UK sanctions breaches that came into effect today. (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1082793/15.06.22_Monetary_penalty_guidaance.pdf).
UK Government Exploring the Idea of Windfall Tax on Electricity Generators: The UK Government said Tuesday that it is still examining the case for a windfall tax on the “extraordinary profits” of electricity generators. The statement comes after the UK Government instituted such a tax on oil and gas producers in May. (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-06-14/uk-electricity-generators-may-still-face-windfall-tax-on-profits).
UK Condemns Russia Over Food Supply Crisis: In a statement to the OSCE on June 14, 2022, Mr. Justin Addison of the UK’s delegation to the OSCE, called on President Putin to allow the re-opening of the ports at Odesa in Ukraine and allow food to flow freely. Mr Addison also stated that the UK’s sanctions against Russia “do not target exports of food supplies for developing countries”. (https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/russia-cannot-be-allowed-to-hold-worlds-food-supply-to-ransom-uk-statement-to-the-osce)
UK Imports from Russia Fell to 18-Year Low in April: According to the UK’s National Office of Statistics, the value of the imports that the UK bought from Russia hit its lowest point in more than eighteen years in April 2022, following the introduction of sanctions. At the same time, UK exports to Russia fell by more than 85% between February and April 2022. (https://www.independent.co.uk/business/exports-to-russia-fell-to-18year-low-in-april-as-sanctions-hit-b2099669.html).
UK Increases Gas and Oil Exports to EU Due to Russia Sanctions: Figures from the Office for National Statistics show EU goods exports rose for the third consecutive month to £16.4bn in April, largely due to increased volumes of natural gas being exported to the EU amid Russia’s war in Ukraine. (https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/jun/13/uk-gas-oil-exports-eu-amid-russia-ukraine-brexit).
Abramovich Transferred Off-Shore Trust Before Sanctions Hit: According to The Times, sanctioned oligarch Roman Abramovich transferred assets worth hundreds of millions of pounds, including one of the world’s biggest private jets, to his children just days before he was placed under sanctions. (https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/abramovich-handed-millions-to-his-children-before-sanctions-hit-vkfxzr0z8).
UK to Support Ukrainian Trade and Food Production: In a statement at the WTO’s 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) Ranil Jayawardena, Minister for International Trade, pledged to facilitate the Ukraine’s exports and “look for ways to help Ukrainian farmers to continue planting and growing cereals and oilseeds”. Jayawardena also pledged to continue providing humanitarian aid and help with the reconstruction of Ukraine. (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/wto-ministerial-conference-joint-statement-in-solidarity-with-ukraine).
OFSI Issues General License Relating to Personal Banking with Designated Institutions: On June 10, 2022, OFSI issued a new general license (INT/2022/1919908) which other than a sanctioned person, to make use of the retail banking services of a designated Credit or Financial Institution provided that the payments made or received are intended for personal use. The general license cannot be used by sanctioned persons. The general license expires on September 10, 2022. (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1081990/INT20221919908_Non-designated_third_party_funds_Publication_Notice_.pdf).
UK Government Provides Guidance on Russia Sanctions Data: The UK Government on June 10, 2022, published a guidance note setting out how the UK Government collates data on sanctions relating to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and what it means. (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/russia-sanctions-notes-on-designations-data).
Charity Commission Appoints Interim Manager to Kantor Foundation and Kantor Charitable Foundation: The UK’s Charity Commission opened statutory inquiries into the Kantor Foundation and Kantor Charitable Foundation in April 2022, following the sanctioning of their current trustee, Dr Viatcheslav Kantor. The regulator has frozen the charities’ bank accounts, but under the General Licence issued by the OFSI, the Interim Manager appointed by the Charity Commission is allowed to act as receiver and manager of the charities’ assets. (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/commission-appoints-interim-manager-to-kantor-foundation-and-kantor-charitable-foundation).
London Identifies ‘Hundreds’ of Low-Key Russians for Possible Sanctions: A group of City of London firms that specialize in tracing assets has identified hundreds of senior Russians with assets abroad who could be added to international sanctions lists, according to Bloomberg. It is unclear if the UK Government is considering including these individuals on the UK Sanctions List. (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-06-08/city-of-london-asset-hunters-work-to-expand-russian-sanctions#xj4y7vzkg).
Russia Oligarch’s Ex-wife Loses £8.7m London Apartment Over Failure to Pay Mortgage: According to the Telegraph, Natalia Rotenberg, ex-wife of sanctioned Russian oligarch Arkady Rotenberg, has lose an £8.7m London apartment over a failure to pay the mortgage. It is reported that she has made not a single payment towards her £1.6 million loan used to buy the property located close to Buckingham Palace. (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/06/09/russian-oligarchs-ex-wife-loses-87m-london-apartment-failure/).
UK Condemns Death Sentence Handed to UK Nationals for Involvement in Ukraine: On June 9, 2022, UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss condemned the death sentences handed down by Moscow-backed separatists in the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic. Truss said the men were prisoners of war and called the judgment a “sham” with “absolutely no legitimacy.” (https://www.rferl.org/a/ukraine-separatists-death-sentence-foreign-fighters/31891033.html)
UK Condemns Russia’s Human Rights Violations: In the UK’s statement to the OSCE on June 9, 2022, Ambassador Bush condemned Russia’s human rights violations and its systematic policy to erase Ukrainian culture, history and identity in temporarily controlled areas. Among other things, Ambassador Bush promised the UK would “be steadfast in providing international support” and pledged “resolute and unwavering” support. (https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/human-suffering-in-temporarily-russian-controlled-areas-of-ukraine-uk-statement-to-the-osce)
UK Government Publishes Response to Report on Impact of Russian Sanctions: On June 9, 2022, the Treasury Committee published the Government’s response to its report, “Defeating Putin: the development, implementation and impact of economic sanctions on Russia”. In its response, the Government confirmed it is recruiting additional staff to OFSI, which is expected to at least double in size over the next financial year. It also commits to continue monitoring the ongoing impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on the UK economy. (https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/22525/documents/165961/default/; https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/158/treasury-committee/news/171314/treasury-committee-publishes-government-response-to-report-on-impact-of-russian-sanctions/)
Tories Have Allegedly Received £62,000 From Russia-Linked Donors Since Invasion: According to OpenDemocracy, the Conservative Party has accepted tens of thousands of pounds from donors linked to Russia since the invasion of Ukraine. The donations include £50,000 from Lubov Chernukhin, who is married to Vladimir Putin’s former deputy finance minister. (https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/dark-money-investigations/conservative-party-russia-donors-ukraine-invasion/)
UK to Embrace Stricter Standards Around Sanctions Enforcement: The OFSI updated its enforcement and monetary penalties guidance to reflect OFSI’s new enforcement powers that will come into force on June 15, 2022. The new powers include the ability to impose civil monetary penalties for breach of sanctions on a strict civil liability basis, removing the previous requirement of proof that a person had knowledge or reasonable cause to suspect that they were in breach of financial sanctions. OFSI can also now publicise details of financial sanctions breaches committed after June 15, 2022, where a monetary penalty has not been imposed. (https://ofsi.blog.gov.uk/2022/06/08/new-enforcement-powers-a-message-from-giles-thomson-director-of-ofsi/; https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1081195/OFSI_Enforcement_guidance_June_2022.pdf).
UK Issues New Guidance on Trade Sanctions Relating to Russia: On June 8, 2022, the UK’s Department for International Trade published new guidance setting out what import and export restrictions apply to companies and individuals subject to UK sanctions when trading with Russia. (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/trading-under-sanctions-with-russia).
Russian State Ready to Step in After EU and UK Insurance Ban: Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has hinted the Russian state is preparing to step in and provide its own insurance guarantees to allow tankers to trade its oil around the world. The move follows an announcement by Lloyds of London that it supports the UK’s insurance ban on tankers exporting Russian crude. (https://www.tradewindsnews.com/insurance/russian-state-ready-to-step-in-after-eu-and-uk-insurance-ban/2-1-1233812).
Abramovich Challenges Sanctions Against Him: According to The Times, sanctioned Russian businessman Roman Abramovich believes that sanctions imposed on him by the UK and the EU are discriminatory and based on false allegations. He is seeking to contest his designation. (https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/roman-abramovich-one-of-uks-top-taxpayers-jgwz3jvqq).
Foreign Minister Preparing Further Sanctions: At a cabinet meeting on June 7, 2022, British foreign minister Liz Truss said the UK was readying further sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman told reporters. (https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/ukraine-must-not-be-pressured-into-bad-peace-deal-says-uk-pm-johnson-2022-06-07/)
UK Investigated Allegations of Ukrainian Grain Theft by Russia: The UK’s farming minister, Victoria Prentis, called on Tuesday for an immediate investigation into allegations that Russia had been stealing grain from Ukraine, following Moscow’s invasion which has driven up world food prices to record levels. (https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/allegations-russia-is-stealing-ukrainian-grain-must-be-investigated-uk-2022-06-07/)
UK to Supply Ukraine with Long-Range Missiles: In a call on June 6, 2022, Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and set out the significant new support the Government is providing, including long-range multiple launch rocket systems. He also discussed the ongoing diplomatic negotiations and efforts to end the blockade of Ukraine’s grain exports. (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/pm-call-with-president-zelenskyy-6-june-2022).
The Law Society Issues Guidance on Potentially Sanctioned Clients: The UK’s Law Society has issued guidance to lawyers and law firms on what to do if a client comes up as a possible sanctions match. Where there is a positive sanctions match, lawyers must suspend their transactions and report the matter to OFSI. (https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/en/contact-or-visit-us/helplines/practice-advice-service/q-and-as/my-client-is-a-possible-sanctions-match-what-should-i-do).
Barclay’s Raises Brent Crude Forecasts in Response to Russian Invasion: On Monday, Barclays announced that it had revised its Brent Crude forecasts for 2022 and 2023 upward to an average of $111 per barrel this year and next, while it sees U.S. West Texas Intermediate (“WTI”) at $108 for the same period. This revision is an $11 increase for Brent Crude for 2022 and a $23 increase for Brent Crude in 2023. The estimate is the result of anticipated prolonged disruptions in the Russian oil market as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (https://www.reuters.com/markets/commodities/barclays-raises-brent-forecasts-russia-oil-sanctions-2022-06-06/).
Russians Struggle to Find UK Lawyers: According to the Financial Times, Russian litigants fighting cases in UK courts are being forced to find new representation as the biggest UK-based law firms are increasingly refusing to act for them, regardless of whether they are sanctioned or not. (https://www.ft.com/content/fd2707b4-f8bb-4b67-95ed-45872884a124)
Expert Says Sanctions Are Being Circumvented: Shane Riedel, an expert on moving money, said governments are using a similar legal framework to sanctions like the ones they used against Osama bin Laden. Riedel alleged that Russian oligarchs are using the same kind of informal system to move money and avoid sanctions as bin Laden did. (https://uk.movies.yahoo.com/russian-oligarchs-sanctioned-osama-bin-110000740.html?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuYmluZy5jb20v&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAHOSTPN4FPyuurAnkt_LS2K8anHpGR96_ITvK6IDb0R35SaPThv9-hiCEgQSopfLBYKwioCUpMQG_jjubz90oixRXdowqzUK6dImNVUHNWraHHbH_IakQ4h72OQUujADfT3fugorShiomXlwDRU3CdFQoZ8VGaSYGYcyB5knyQPg
President Putin Blames Food Crisis on UK and USA’s Sanctions: Russian President Vladmir Putin denied Moscow had imposed a ban on grain exports from Ukraine. He alleged the sanctions placed by Britain and the USA on Russian fertilisers were the cause of global food supply issues. (https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/vladimir-putin-hits-out-britain-27143451)
Abramovich-Owned UK Telecoms Group to be Sold For £1: British telecoms group Truphone, owned by sanctioned Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich and his associates, is being bought for £1 by two European tech entrepreneurs, despite being valued at £410 million in 2020. (https://www.ft.com/content/624482dd-0a83-4377-b846-a6bc7dad7cef)
UK Ambassador Says Russia Must Continue to be Held Accountable: In the UK’s statement to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) on June 2, 2022, the UK Ambassador Neil Bush stressed that the Russian government must pay the price of its actions, saying “we will hold them accountable for their crimes, for as long as it takes.” (https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/russia-must-be-held-accountable-for-their-crimes-in-ukraine-uk-statement-to-the-osce).
UK Members of Parliament (MPs) Call for Transparency on Arms Export Fines: Members of Parliament from across the political divide are piling pressure on the UK government over the secretive punishment regime for British firms that breach weapons export rules. Concerns were raised after it was revealed that an unknown exporter was fined £2.7 million in February, which suggests a severe breach was committed. (https://www.politico.eu/article/pressure-over-secretive-uk-arms-export-fines/).
UK Member of Parliament Says Royal Navy May Be Used Against Russia: Alec Shelbrooke, a Tory MP who leads the UK’s parliamentary delegation to NATO, has suggested Royal Navy ships could have to use “lethal defensive force” against Russia’s forces as part of a mission to escort vital grain supplies out of Ukrainian ports, at the “high risk” of deaths of UK personnel and the escalation of war in Europe. (https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/ukraine-russia-war-putin-oil-weapons-latest-b2091419.html).
UK Updates Guidance on Imports From Russia and Belarus: On June 1, 2022, the UK officially implemented the additional duties of 35% to a package of goods originating in Russia and Belarus, which had been initially announced on April 21, 2022. The UK has since announced that a further package of Russian and Belarusian goods is planned to be affected by additional duties. (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/additional-duties-on-goods-originating-in-russia-and-belarus).
OFSI’s General Licence Relating to Chelsea FC has Expired: Following the successful completion of the sale of Chelsea FC, the general licence (INT/2022/1327076) allowing the club to continue certain operations has now expired. (https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/ofsi-general-licences).
Lloyds of London Supports Sanctions: Following the announcement yesterday that the UK and EU would be banning insurance on vessels carrying Russian oil, Lloyds of London have released a statement saying it “supports and remains focused on the delivery of a global sanctions regime against the Russian state”. (https://tass.com/economy/1459159?utm_source=google.com&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=google.com&utm_referrer=google.com).
Energy Price Cap set to rise 2,900 pounds in January: Sky News reported Wednesday that the energy price cap in Britain is forecast to rise for the first time next January. Forecasters warned, however, that future sanctions and market volatility could change their analysis over time. (https://news.sky.com/story/energy-price-cap-forecast-rises-as-eu-sanctions-on-russia-cause-market-uncertainty-and-volatility-12625361).
UK Minister of State Promises Further Sanctions on Russia: In response to an FCDO written question, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said the sanctions on Russia were having “deep and damaging consequences” and promised the UK would “continue to put more pressure on Putin’s regime, including through further sanctions”. (https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2022-05-18.HL334.h&p=13103).
UK and EU Hit Russian Oil Cargoes with Insurance Ban: The UK and EU have agreed a coordinated ban on insuring ships carrying Russian oil, shutting Moscow out of the Lloyd’s of London insurance market and sharply curbing its ability to export crude, according to the Financial Times. (https://www.ft.com/content/10372dd3-be3c-42b9-982b-241a38efcc88).
OFSI Issues General Licence Relating to ZAO TransTeleCom Company: Under a new general licence (INT/2022/1875276) issued by OFSI on May 30, 2022, business operations involving the provision of Civilian Telecommunication Services that include ZAO TransTeleCom Company, and business operations related to News Media Services are permitted to continue, subject to certain conditions. The general licence expires on 30 May 2024. (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1079707/30.05.2022_INT20221875276_Telecoms_and_News_General_Licence_Publication_notice.pdf)
OFSI Issues General Licence Relating to Charities and Interim Managers and Trustees: Under a new general licence (INT/2022/1834876), interim managers (as appointed by the Charities Commission) and trustees of charities are permitted to allow for the basic needs of the operation of charities, receipt and disbursement of charitable funds and payments associated with the wind up of a charity in the execution of their duties. The general licence expires on May 30, 2023. (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1079601/GL_CC_Publication_Notice_20220530.pdf)
UK Peer Seeks Sanctions Lift on Aughinish Alumina: According to The Times on May 30, 2022, Greg Barker, a Conservative life peer, met Leo Varadkar and Paschal Donohoe at Government Buildings on March 21, 2022, to discuss his planned takeover of the Aughinish Alumina refinery in Limerick in an attempt to protect it against Russian sanctions, (https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/uk-peers-bid-to-save-refinery-from-sanctions-7zrqgv9bb).
Sanctions Lifted on Chelsea FC as Takeover is Completed: Chelsea Football Club have officially announced the completed takeover of the club by the consortium led by Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital on May 30, 2022. The sanctions placed on the club as a result of its previous owner, Roman Abramovich, have now been lifted. (https://www.chelseafc.com/en/news/2022/05/30/statement-from-board-of-directors-of-chelsea-football-club-limit; https://www.chelsea-news.co/2022/05/confirmed-sanctions-on-chelsea-are-lifted-and-club-can-operate-as-normal-again/).
UK Prime Minister Agrees to Shore up Energy Security on Call with Hungarian Premier: On May 27, 2022, on a call with Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out his strong condemnation of Russia’s continued attack on Ukraine and said the international community had to continue to apply maximum economic pressure to cripple Putin’s war machine. Both leaders agreed that shoring up energy security and domestic resilience in Europe was crucial.(https://www.gov.uk/government/news/pm-call-with-prime-minister-of-hungary-27-may-2022).
Russian oligarch-linked Superyachts ‘Going Dark’ to Avoid Tracking Systems: An investigation by The Observer this weekend reveals that at least six superyachts linked to UK-sanctioned oligarchs which have “gone dark” on ocean tracking systems by no longer reporting their position to an automatic global locator.(https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/may/28/revealed-russia-linked-superyachts-going-dark-to-avoid-tracking-systems).
£4.25 billion sale of Chelsea Football Club to Todd Boehly to Complete on Monday: The sale of Chelsea football club to a consortium led by US magnate Todd Boehly has been agreed and is expected to be complete on Monday. The sale has required UK Government, European Union and Portuguese Government approval due to the sanctions imposed on Roman Abramovich. The proceeds of Chelsea’s sale – expected to be £2.5bn – will be frozen in a UK bank account on completion of the sale.(https://inews.co.uk/news/chelsea-confirm-4-25billion-sale-todd-boehly-will-be-complete-on-monday-1656754).
UK Accuses Russia of Leveraging Global Food Security for its Political Aim: The UK Defence Ministry in the latest intelligence update has alleged that Russia has indicated its readiness to leverage global food security for its “political aim“. It further said that Russia will then showcase itself as the “reasonable actor” and put the blame on the West for any failure. (https://www.republicworld.com/world-news/russia-ukraine-crisis/uk-accuses-russia-of-leveraging-global-food-security-for-its-political-aim-articleshow.html).
Holland & Barrett Lenders Appoint Advisers to Oversee Debt Talks: The lenders to Holland & Barrett have appointed investment bank Perella Weinberg to advise on the impact of sanctions on the ultimate owners of the business. Holland & Barrett is owned by LetterOne, the London-headquartered investment group that was funded by Russian oligarchs including Mikhail Fridman and Petr Aven. Both individuals are under sanctions from the UK and EU, although LetterOne itself is not. (https://www.ft.com/content/fca700b7-faa5-4273-85ba-00e7972e7b24).
British Luxury Yacht-Builder Princess to Find New Owners: Private Equity Group L Catteron has hired bankers at Macquarie to find a buyer for Britain’s biggest luxury yatch-builder, Princess Yachts. A number of yachts have been seized by authorities around the world as they seek to enforce sanctions against their Russian owners. (https://news.sky.com/story/british-luxury-yacht-builder-princess-sets-sail-to-find-new-owners-12622465).
Liz Truss Outline UK’s Increased Support to Counter Russia’s Malign Influence in Bosnia and Herzegovina: During a visit to Sarajevo on May 26, 2022, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss warned against appeasement of Vladimir Putin, and said “We must be relentless in ensuring Ukraine prevails through military aid and sanctions. We can’t take our foot off the accelerator now… I urge Bosnia and Herzegovina to join us in imposing sanctions on Russia – cutting off funding for Putin’s war machine” (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/foreign-secretary-says-west-needs-to-ensure-putin-loses-in-ukraine-26-may-2022)
UK Government Says Legal Services Are Essential and Cannot Be Banned: Following the announcement of a ban (not yet in force) on the export of certain professional services to Russia, the UK’s Ministry of Justice has said “Legal services are distinct from other services in the role they play in supporting a flourishing democracy and upholding the rule of law.” The Government has therefore not included legal services within the scope of the ban. However, the Solicitors Regulation Authority has reportedly stepped up spot checks and investigations to monitor and enforce compliance with the sanctions regime. (https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2022-05-16/2441)
Fish & Chip Shops at Risk of Going Bust: Due to disrupted fish imports and reducing sunflower oil supplies as a result of Russian sanctions, figures show a third of fish and chip shops are at risk of becoming insolvent this year. The cost of cod and haddock are up by 75 per cent, while the cost of sunflower oil is up 60 per cent and flour 40 per cent. (https://www.thenationalnews.com/world/uk-news/2022/05/26/fish-shops-in-uk-chipped-by-russia-sanctions/)
Abramovich to Donate Proceeds of Chelsea FC Sale to Ukraine Victims: Nadine Dorries, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, made a statement to the UK Parliament on May 26, 2022, re-confirming that the government has issued a licence to Chelsea Football Club to allow the sale of Chelsea FC PLC. In the statement, Dorries stated that “the Club will be free from previous operating restrictions imposed by sanctions from the point the new ownership takes effect, and we expect this to take place in a matter of days.” (https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-statements/detail/2022-05-26/hcws71)
National Crime Agency Seizes £30,000 in Cash in Raid on sanctioned Aven’s Surrey Mansion: It was reported on May 25, 2022 that UK authorities had raided a mansion owned by Russian oligarch Petr Aven and seized around £30,000 ($37,700) in cash. Several dozen officers from the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) were involved in the raid (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/05/25/30000-cash-seized-raid-russian-oligarchs-surrey-mansion/).
Britain Will Not Ease Sanctions in Exchange For a Grain Export Corridor: At a news conference on Wednesday in Madrid, the UK’s Minister of Defense, Ben Wallace, rejected the idea of easing sanctions against Russia in exchange for a grain export corridor through Ukraine, instead calling on Russia to “do the right thing in the spirit of humanity”. (https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/5/25/spain-uk-say-russian-influence-in-africa-threat-to-nato-security)
Treasury Department Extends Russia General License 13A: On Wednesday, the Treasury Department issued General License 13A, which permits US persons to pay taxes, fees, or import duties, and purchase or receive permits, licenses, registrations, or certifications, regardless of whether these transactions violate restrictions on payments with the Russian Central Bank, National Wealth Fund, and Ministry of Finance. The new license is valid until 12:01am on September 30, 2022. (https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/126/russia_gl13a.pdf).
Treasury Official Outlines Russia Sanctions Program at Anti-Money Laundering Conference:Speaking on Wednesday at SIFMA’s Anti-Money Laundering and Financial Crimes Conference, Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence of the United States Brian Nelson discussed the Treasury Department’s efforts to sanction Russia. He stated that the measures to date are intended to hinder the Russian economy, notably the defense sector, and to improve enforcement. He thanked the private sector for their partnership in this effort, highlighting the Department’s guidance, outreach, and enforcement measures as ways to inform the public. (https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy0800).
Nike Leaving Russian Market: On Wednesday, Nike announced that it would not extend its franchise agreement with Russia’s Inventive Retail Group (“IRG”) the largest retailer of Nike products in the country. The stores will close once all goods are sold. Nike previously suspended online sales in Russia and closed all of its shops, including ones operating under franchise agreements, in the country. (https://www.rferl.org/a/nike-marks-spencer-leave-russia-ukraine-war/31867200.html).
UK Professional Services Firms Seek Exemptions to Ban on Russia Work: Auditors and tax advisers in the UK are lobbying the government for exemptions from a ban on working for businesses in Russia, introduced earlier this month. Lobbyists include the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. According to the Financial Times, Ministers are currently considering “very limited exceptions”, such as services needed to wind down operations or contracts for UK firms that are already pulling out of Russia. (https://www.ft.com/content/3f74c9d7-d945-4a77-b0d5-81fdf5b7b23f).
63 Entries Amended on the UK Sanctions List: OFSI amended 63 entries under the Russia regime on the UK Sanctions List on May 24, 2022. The listed persons remain subject to an asset freeze. (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1077964/Notice_Russia_240522.pdf).
Son of Sanctioned Russian Billionaire Linked to £160 million Property Portfolio: Said Gutseriev, the son of a Russian Billionaire who was sanctioned last year for “supporting” the president of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, has now been linked to a £160 million portfolio of London properties. The information about assets linked to Gutseriev in the UK raises questions about whether sanctions should apply to him. (https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/may/24/the-sanctioned-oligarchs-son-and-a-160m-london-property-empire).
UK Seeks to Reduce its Reliance on Russian Uranium: EDF is now considering alternatives to the Russian uranium used to power Sizewell B in Suffolk. The plant supplies around three percent of UK electricity and is reportedly the only nuclear plant in the country which uses Russian uranium, according to EDF. The current uranium stocks were purchased prior to the imposition of sanctions. (https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/1615246/putin-nuclear-energy-grip-uk-panic-edf-uranium-sizewell-b).
Royal Navy Could Escort Grain Ships Through Odesa Blockade: Britain is discussing sending warships to protect freighters carrying Ukrainian grain, in an attempt to avert a world food crisis. (https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/royal-navy-could-escortgrain-ships-through-odesa-blockade-6cdp626xq).
Jersey Launches Probe on Abramovich: Law enforcement officials in Jersey announced on Tuesday that they are conducting a wide-ranging preliminary probe into Roman Abramovich’s holdings on the island. The investigation includes whether a business partner helped the billionaire try to evade UK sanctions, according to people familiar with the situation. The probe is still in its early stages; it has not reached the level of a formal investigation. (https://www.wsj.com/articles/russian-oligarch-roman-abramovichs-offshore-wealth-is-focus-of-new-probe-11653384602?mod=livecoverage_web).
OFSI Issues General Licence Relating to Russian Flights and Rail: Under the new general licence (INT/2022/1839676), UK nationals may purchase tickets for flights or rail journeys originating in, or within, Russia from PJSC Aeroflot, JSC Rossiya Airlines, JSC Ural Airlines or Russian Railways. The general licence expires on May 23, 2022. (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1077827/23.05.2022_Travel_General_Licence.pdf).
UK Prime Minister Refuses to Join Canada in Sanctioning Alexander Lebedev: Following calls for former KGB officer, Alexander Lebedev, to be sanctioned, the Byline Times reported that a spokesperson on Boris Johnson’s behalf stated “It’s not for me to comment on a different judgement of a different country…we will, and have, taken significant action against Putin’s inner circle.” (https://bylinetimes.com/2022/05/23/alexander-lebedev-boris-johnson-evgeny-sanctions-putin-russia/).
Gazprom’s UK Energy Supply Business Considers Rebrand: Gazprom Energy is considering a rebrand, as it seeks to distance itself from its Russian owners after the invasion of Ukraine. Gazprom Energy is the biggest gas supplier to businesses in the UK, supplying more than a fifth of the gas used by British companies. (https://www.ft.com/content/43aef0cc-341d-48ac-b1b4-2402cc4dffeb).
UK and Lithuania Commit to Closer Collaboration to Tackle Malign Regimes: The UK and Lithuanian Governments have signed a Joint Declaration in London on 100 years of bilateral relations to boost defence and security collaboration. Among other things, the countries vowed to continue to work together in condemnation of Russia’s illegal invasion and in support of Ukraine. (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-and-lithuania-commit-to-closer-collaboration-to-tackle-malign-regimes).
Labour Party Calls for Sanctions on Media Magnate, Alexander Lebedev: Following Canada’s decision to sanction Russian billionaire Alexander Lebedev, the Labour party’s deputy leader, Angela Rayner, has said the case for the British government to follow Canada’s lead is “extremely strong”. The British Prime Minister’s Boris Johnson’s, links to Lebedev are well documented. (https://www.ft.com/content/c9fe610a-f4ec-413c-8f0d-fd9a86eca9dd)
Sainsbury’s Bans Russian Fuel At All Its 315 UK Petrol Stations: The UK’s second largest supermarket, Sainsbury’s, announced it will no longer sell Russian diesel at its petrol stations by the end of the year. The ban would affect 315 of its forecourts across the country. The supermarket has already stopped selling products that are solely from Russia. (https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/sainsburys-announces-russian-ban-affect-27025353)
UK Says Sanctions Are Causing “Shortages” of Russian Reconnaissance Equipment Used in Syria: Sanctions on the Russian economy are helping to cause “shortages” of vital reconnaissance equipment, the UK’s Ministry of Defense has said. Russia has used the equipment, which allows unmanned aerial vehicles to identify enemy targets to be hit by jets or artillery fire, in Syria. (https://www.euronews.com/2022/05/21/uk-ukraine-crisis-britain-intelligence)
Abramovich’s Wealth Halved Following Russian Sanctions According to The Sunday Times Rich List: The Sunday Times’ list of the UK’s richest shows Roman Abramovich’s wealth has dropped from some £12 billion ($15 million) in 2021 to £6.101 billion ($7.5 billion) in 2022. Abramovich was targeted by the UK’s financial sanctions on March 10, 2022. (https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/roman-abramovich-net-worth-sunday-times-rich-list-wrq0qxnsc)
Foreign Secretary Calls for Moldova to be Equipped to NATO Standard due to Ukraine Invasion: In an interview with The Telegraph on Sunday, UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss urged NATO to equip Moldova, which is not a member of the alliance, “to the NATO standard” due to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s demonstrated territorial goals in Ukraine and a similar Russian breakaway region in Moldova, Transnistria. (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2022/05/20/liz-truss-give-moldova-weapons-stop-invasion-vladimir-putin/).
Fresh Calls for UK Sanctions Against Russia State-Linked Bank Pursuing Billions in Russian Claims Abroad: The National Bank Trust is pursuing former bank executive, Ilya Yurov, who is originally from Moscow, with two former colleagues for $900 million (£720 million) in Russia, after Yurov lost a high court case. The National Bank Trust is not included on the UK Sanctions List. Yurov is calling for them to be added, over concerns the proceeds from the disposal of his estate risk being used to fund Vladimir Putin’s war machine. (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/may/22/if-my-65m-kent-mansion-is-sold-now-it-could-help-fund-putins-war).
UK Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) Calls For Reports on Sanctions Evasion: The FCA has requested that regulated firms produce reports of sanctions evasion issues or weaknesses in sanctions controls where they relate to regulated firms or UK listed securities. Reports should include information on: firms having poor sanctions controls; suspected breaches of the sanctions regime; actual breaches of the sanctions regime; and any method believed to be used by firms or individuals to breach the sanctions regime. (https://www.fca.org.uk/firms/financial-crime/reporting-sanctions-evasions).
Advisers to London-Listed Gold Miner Petropavlovsk Quit: A restructuring firm drafted in just a month ago to advise the London-listed gold miner Petropavlovsk has resigned from the role following Russia-related sanctions on the professional services sector. Sky News reported that BDO, the British-based accountancy firm, had since stepped in to replace AlixPartners as Petropavlovsk’s restructuring adviser. (https://news.sky.com/story/advisers-to-london-listed-gold-miner-petropavlovsk-quit-as-russian-sanctions-bite-12617283).
OFSI to Decide Fate of Fabergé Eggs Loaned to the V&A: The UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (“DCMS”) confirmed that the UK Treasury would determine whether the Fabergé eggs, which once belonged to Russian royalty and were loaned to the V&A museum by a company of Viktor Vekselberg, a sanctioned Russian oligarch, can be returned without undermining the regime of UK sanctions. (https://www.thebharatexpressnews.com/treasury-to-decide-fate-of-faberge-eggs-as-va-faces-russian-sanctions-dilemma/).
Three Russian Airlines Added to UK Sanctions List: On May 19, 2022, the UK Government introduced sanctions against state-owned Aeroflot, Russia’s largest airline, Ural Airlines and Rossiya Airlines. These airlines will now be unable to sell their unused, lucrative landing slots at UK airports – preventing Russia from cashing in on an estimated £50 million. (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1076657/Notice_Russia_190522.pdf; https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-targets-russian-airlines-with-new-sanctions).
UK Prime Minister Pledges UK’s “Steadfast Solidarity” in Call With President Zelenskyy: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on May 19, 2022 and looked at options to open up critical sea and land supply routes for Ukrainian grain stocks. The Prime Minister reiterated the UK’s steadfast solidarity with Ukraine. (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/pm-call-with-president-zelenskyy-19-may-2022).
UK Claim Ukraine War Threatens Global Food Security: In the UK’s statement to OSCE on May 19, 2022, Ambassador Neil Bush highlighted the impact of Russia’s war on global food security and calls on Russia to stop impeding Ukrainian food production and export. (https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/russias-attack-on-ukraine-threatens-global-food-security-uk-statement-to-the-osce).
Labour Claims £15 million of Taxpayer Money Was Paid to Putin’s Ally, Denis Sverdlov: Shadow Transport Minister, Sam Tarry, said the Government has awarded £15 million to electric bus manufacturer Arrival, founded and run by Denis Sverdlov. Sverdlov was briefly a Russian deputy minister of communications and mass media, and is allegedly considered one of Vladimir Putin’s “closest allies”. (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10834133/Labour-claims-15m-handed-Putin-ally-green-buses-UK-streets.html).
UK Government Sets Out Options for International Law on Cyberspace: The Attorney General, Suella Braverman QC MP, set out in more detail the UK’s position on applying international law to cyberspace. She clarified that one of the response options available, to impose a cost on States carrying out irresponsible or hostile cyber activity, could include economic sanctions, restrictions on freedom of movement, exclusion from international groupings and wider diplomatic measures. (https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/international-law-in-future-frontiers).
UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Promises Further Sanctions: Answering a written question on an online platform on the effectiveness of sanctions, the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer wrote “We will go broader, we will go deeper, and we will close loopholes.” (https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2022-05-10.204.h&s=finance).
Private Plane Allowed to Fly From Scotland to Moscow Breaching Russian Sanctions: A private charter flight travelled from Inverness to Moscow on February 26, 2022, breaching UK sanctions against Russia, despite air traffic control being informed about the flight beforehand. A memo obtained by the Press and Journal now appears to show the UK Government approved the flight. (https://www.cityam.com/pm-asked-to-explain-how-a-private-plane-was-allowed-to-fly-from-scotland-to-moscow-breaching-russian-sanctions/).
OFSI’s Director Expects Sanctions to Last a Long Time: In an interview with the Financial News, the director of OFSI, Giles Thomson, said he does not expect the weight of sanctions to let up soon, with enforcement being a particular focus over the next three to six months. Going forward, Thomson wants sanctions to be further integrated into the government’s broader economic crime agenda. (https://www.fnlondon.com/articles/giles-thompson-director-of-office-of-financial-sanctions-implementation-20220518).
UK International Trade Secretary Says We Must “De-Putinise” the World’s Economy: The UK’s International Trade Secretary, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, said in a speech on May 18, 2022, that green trade is key in ending British dependence on Russian energy. (https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/leading-the-way-on-green-trade).
UK Officials Demand “Watertight” Legal Guarantees from Abramovich Over Chelsea Funds: UK government officials are demanding a “legally watertight” guarantee that Roman Abramovich will not lay claim to a roughly £1.5bn chunk of the proceeds from the sale of Chelsea Football Club, funds that have become a key source of tension that could scupper the planned deal. (https://www.ft.com/content/d24ef7cb-da0d-497d-b14e-d8fbcc88af24).
UK MoD Says Russia Resorted to Indiscriminate Shelling in the Chernihiv Region Due To Limited Target Acquisition Capability: A UK Defence Intelligence update released by the UK Ministry of Justice on May 17, 2022, stated that Russia has likely resorted to “an increasing reliance on indiscriminate artillery bombardment due to a limited target acquisition capability”. (https://twitter.com/DefenceHQ/status/1526422852337115136?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1526422852337115136%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.republicworld.com%2Fworld-news%2Frussia-ukraine-crisis%2Fuk-mod-says-russia-resorted-to-indiscriminate-shelling-due-to-limited-target-acquisition-articleshow.html).
Questions Raised About UK Arts Donations of Leonard Blavatnik: A UK freedom of information request shows that the links of Ukrainian-born benefactor Leonard Blavatnik, who was listed by the Sunday Times as the UK’s richest man, with sanctioned Russian oligarchs have been the subject of discussions at major UK cultural institutions, including the National Library of Scotland, particularly around sensitivities over Blavatnik’s donations to such institutions. (https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2022/may/16/questions-raised-about-uk-arts-donations-of-leonard-blavatnik).
UK Diesel Prices at the Pump Hit Record High: According to the Royal Automobile Club, on Sunday, the price of a liter of petrol hit 108.29 pence, a record high. The price rise comes despite the UK announcing a 5p per liter cut in fuel duty until March 2023. (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-05-16/uk-diesel-prices-at-the-pump-hit-record-high-rac-says).
UK Government Accuses Abramovich of Jeopardizing Chelsea Sale: It has been reported that the sale of Chelsea football club has stalled amid questions over where the proceeds from the sale of the club will go. (https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/chelsea-takeover-government-accuses-roman-abramovich-of-putting-clubs-future-in-doubt-cn3s2l3wb).
UK Considering Sanctions on National Bank Trust: On Saturday, The Guardian reported that the UK is considering sanctions on National Bank Trust, which is owned by the Russian Central Bank. In calling for an investigation, Christine Jardine, the Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesperson, said, “There are too many question marks around the National Bank Trust and whether it is, in fact, able to channel funds to the Putin regime… If it is, it must be sanctioned straight away.” (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/may/14/the-russian-bank-the-bruce-willis-ad-and-the-900m-sanctions-battle).
Harrods Imposes Spending Limits on Russian Shoppers: To comply with the UK Governments sanctions on exporting luxury goods to Russia, the famous luxury department store, Harrods, has contacted Russian customers to inform them it will no longer sell them goods worth over £300. (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/05/14/harrods-stops-russians-spending-300-luxury-goods/)
UK Supermarkets Still Selling Russian Whitefish: The Guardian reported on Saturday that UK supermarket chains like Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Morrisons and Asda are still selling Russian whitefish products, though Tesco and Asda are no longer buying from Russian suppliers. Russia accounts for 45 percent of the world’s whitefish supply, and the supermarkets reported difficulty in finding alternative sources for their products. The UK previously attempted to impose a 35 percent tariff on all Russian imports, including imported whitefish, but industry groups successfully blocked the proposal. (https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/may/14/fish-fingers-containing-russian-whitefish-still-on-sale-across-uk).
12 Individuals Added to the UK Sanction List: In an attempt to hit Putin’s financial network and tighten the vice on the President and his inner circle, 12 individuals were added to the UK’s sanctions list on May 13, 2022. The individuals include Putin’s confidants and loyal supporters Alexander Plekhov, Mikhail Klishin and Vladimir Kolbin, as well as Alina Kabaeva, the Chair of the Board of the National Media Group who is rumoured to be Putin’s girlfriend. (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-sanctions-the-shady-network-funding-putins-lavish-lifestyle).
OFSI Issues New General Licence Relating To Amsterdam Trade Bank N.V: On May 13, 2022, OFSI issued a new general licence (INT/2022/1678476) authorizing Amsterdam Trade Bank N.V. inter alia to make certain payments for its basic needs, and for persons subject to UK jurisdiction to wind down transactions with Amsterdam Trade Bank N.V. The licence expires on May 12, 2023. (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1074955/12.05.2022_Amsterdam_Trade_Bank_N.V_wind_down_-_basic_needs_-_insolvency_payments_-_Publication_Notice_INT-2022-1678476.pdf).
OFSI Extends General License Relating to Sovcomflot: The general license relating to the wind down of positions involving Sovcomflot (INT/2022/1469378) has been extended. The general license now expires on June 30, 2022. (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1075247/INT.2022.1469378_Sovcomflot_GL_publication_notice.pdf).
BVI Continues Sanctions on Russia: In a joint statement with the Governor’s Office and the Ministry of Finance, the BVI Financial Services Commission (FSC) said it is committed to maintaining its relationship with the UK and is taking all the requisite steps to ensure that it adheres to the Russian financial sanctions. (https://bvinews.com/bvi-continues-sanctions-on-russia-in-display-of-commitment-to-uk/).
UK Foreign Secretary Calls for Stringent Sanctions during NATO and G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meetings: The UK’s Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss, attended the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meetings in Germany on Thursday and urged partners to commit to further waves of sanctions for as long as Russian troops are in Ukraine, and to agree that sanctions must remain in place until there is a complete Russian withdrawal and peace agreed. Truss will attend a number of other meetings to rally more countries to Ukraine’s cause. (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/foreign-secretary-rallies-allies-to-constrain-putins-aggression-during-nato-and-g7-foreign-ministers-meetings-in-germany).