On March 2, 2021, the Biden Administration announced the intelligence community’s finding that Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) used a banned chemical nerve agent to poison Russian opposition leader, Aleksey Navalny.  Shortly following the White House’s press briefing, the Departments of State, Commerce, and Treasury issued press releases announcing new sanctions and export controls, summarized below.

Export Controls

Bureau of Industry and Security

The Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) added 14 entities to the Entity List based on the determination that these entities engaged in proliferation activities in support of Russia’s weapons of mass destruction programs and chemical weapons activities.

Commerce’s press release also stated that BIS is assessing additional “measures to be implemented under the EAR in light of the Secretary of State’s recent determination, under Section 306(a) of the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 (“CBW Act”), that the Government of Russia has used chemical or biological weapons against its own nationals in violation of international law.”

BIS places entities on the Entity List under two provisions of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), part 744 relating to End-User and End-Use based controls and part 746 for Embargoes and Other Special controls.  In this case, the End-User Review Committee (ERC) determined pursuant to § 744.11(b) the entities’ conduct raises sufficient concern that “there is reasonable cause to believe… that they have been involved, are involved, or pose a significant risk of being or becoming involved in activities that are contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States, along with those acting on behalf of such persons.”

The End-User Review Committee (ERC) comprises representatives from the Departments of Commerce (Chair), State, Defense, Energy and, where appropriate, the Treasury. The ERC makes all decisions regarding additions to, removals from, or other modifications to the Entity List. See Supplement No. 5 to Part 744.

Accordingly, BIS listed the following entities on the Entity List, imposing a licensing requirement for all items subject to the EAR with a policy of denial:

  • Germany
    • Chimconnect Gmbh;
    • Pharmcontract Gmbh; and
    • Riol-Chemie.
  • Russia
    • 27th Scientific Center of the Russian Ministry of Defense;
    • Chimmed Group;
    • Femteco;
    • Interlab;
    • LabInvest;
    • OOO Analit Products;
    • OOO Intertech Instruments;
    • Pharmcontract GC;
    • Rau Farm; and
  • Switzerland
    • Chimconnect AG.

Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC)

DDTC announced on its website that pursuant to the Secretary of State’s determination that Russia violated the CBW Act, DDTC will amend the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) § 126.1 (Proscribed Countries list) to include Russia as a country subject to a policy of denial for all exports of defense articles and defense services, with limited exceptions on a case-by-case basis pertaining to exports in furtherance of government space cooperation activities.  Even attempted exports of ITAR controlled articles or services to Russia will also now be subject to the ‘duty to notify’ under 126.1(e)(2) “any person who has reason to know of a proposed, final, or actual sale, export, transfer, reexport, or retransfer of articles, data, or services… must immediately inform [DDTC]…”


Department of State

  • CAATSA Sanctions – Addition of Entities to the Section 231 List: State also added six entities to the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) Section 231 List of Specified Persons (“231 List”) identifying entities that are part of, or operate for, or on behalf of, the defense or intelligence sectors of the Russian government. Any person (U.S. and non-U.S.) who knowingly engages in a “significant transaction” with a listed entity are at risk themselves of being subject to mandatory sanctions under CAATSA.  The entities added are the following:
    • 27th Scientific Center;
    • 48 Central Scientific Research Institute Sergiev Posad (also known as [aka] 48 TsNII Sergiev Posad; aka 48th Central Research Institute, Sergiev Posad);
    • 48 Central Scientific Research Institute Kirov (aka 48th Central Research Institute Kirov; aka 48th TsNII);
    • 48 Central Scientific Research Institute Yekaterinburg (aka 48th TsNII Yekaterinburg);
    • State Scientific Research Institute of Organic Chemistry and Technology (aka GoSNIIOKhT);
    • 33rd Scientific Research and Testing Institute (aka 33rd TsNIII).
  • O. 13382 “Blocking Property of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferators and Their Supporters ” Sanctions: State also designated the FSB, GosNIIOKhT, the 33rd TsNIII, the 27th Scientific Center, the GRU, and GRU officers Alexander Yevgeniyevich Mishkin and Anatoliy Vladimirovich Chepiga pursuant to Section 1(a)(ii) of E.O. 13382 for having engaged, or attempted to engage, in activities or transactions that have materially contributed to, or pose a risk of materially contributing to, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction or their means of delivery (including missiles capable of delivering such weapons), including any efforts to manufacture, acquire, possess, develop, transport, transfer or use such items, by Russia.

Office of Foreign Asset Controls (OFAC)

  • O. 13382 “Blocking Property of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferators and Their Supporters” Sanctions: OFAC also designated Alexander Vasilievich Bortnikov, the Director of the FSB, under E.O. 13382.
  • O. 13661 “Blocking Property of Additional Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine” Sanctions: Additionally, OFAC designated seven Russian officials pursuant to E.O. 13661 as a part of the response to the Navalny poisoning and imprisonment. The seven individuals are Pavel Anatolievich Popov, Aleksei Yurievich Krivoruchko, Sergei Vladilenovich Kiriyenko, Andrei Veniaminovich Yarin, Alexander Vasilievich Bortnikov, Igor Victorovich Krasnov and Alexander Petrovich Kalashnikov.