Russia Sanctions:  The U.S., EU, and UK continue to apply pressure on Russia through new sanctions on oligarchs and politicians and restrictions on exports.  A number of other countries have implemented similar measures and continue to widen the scope of such prohibitions as the invasion continues.  On a more limited scale, Belarus has also been subject to new EU restrictions targeting certain financial institutions.  As the invasion continues, we expect additional sanctions and export controls in the near future.

Financial Sector Restrictions: The most recent actions have focused on the Belarusian financial sector.  The EU expanded its prohibition on SWIFT access to three Belarusian banks: Belagroprombank, Bank Dabrabyt, and Development Bank of the Republic of Belarus, which means these banks will be removed from SWIFT effective March 20, 2022.  This action follows the EU’s previous announcement that seven major Russian banks and majority-owned subsidiaries will be disconnected from SWIFT.  The EU also announced that transactions related to the management of reserves or assets of the Central Bank of Belarus are prohibited.

Oligarch Sanctions:  A number of additional oligarchs and prominent businesspeople were sanctioned by the UK and EU this week.   These individuals are involved in key economic sectors that provide a substantial source of revenue to Russia, including the oil, metallurgical, agriculture, pharmaceutical, telecom, and industrial industries.  As the list of sanctioned oligarchs continues to expand, identifying the companies and entities that may also be sanctioned by operation of law, as a result of oligarch ownership or control, will continue to pose a challenge to businesses globally.  We expect the U.S., UK, and EU will continue to target oligarchs as the invasion continues.

Export Controls & Energy Sanctions:  As anticipated, the U.S. announced a ban on the import of Russia origin oil, petroleum, and natural gas.  The Executive Order also prohibits “new investment in the energy sector.”  The definition of “investment” is broad and includes any transaction involving a “contribution of funds or other assets for” new “energy sector activities” that are “located or occurring” in Russia after March 8, 2022.  As a result, this may effectively prohibit the export of any goods for use in the Russian energy sector after March 8, 2022.  The UK announced that it would “phase out” the import of Russian oil over the course of 2022, but offered no specific guidance.

The EU imposed a prohibition on the export of maritime navigation goods and technology to Russia.  This restriction applies to navigation equipment and radio-communication equipment and the provision of technical or financing related to such goods.

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Photo of Carlton Greene Carlton Greene

Carlton Greene is a partner in Crowell & Moring’s Washington, D.C. office and a member of the firm’s International Trade and White Collar & Regulatory Enforcement groups. He provides strategic advice to clients on U.S. economic sanctions, Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money laundering…

Carlton Greene is a partner in Crowell & Moring’s Washington, D.C. office and a member of the firm’s International Trade and White Collar & Regulatory Enforcement groups. He provides strategic advice to clients on U.S. economic sanctions, Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money laundering (AML) laws and regulations, export controls, and anti-corruption/anti-bribery laws and regulations. Carlton is the former chief counsel at FinCEN (the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network), the U.S. AML regulator responsible for administering the Bank Secrecy Act.

Photo of Caroline Brown Caroline Brown

Caroline E. Brown is a partner in Crowell & Moring’s Washington, D.C. office and a member of the firm’s White Collar & Regulatory Enforcement and International Trade groups and the steering committee of the firm’s National Security Practice. She provides strategic advice to…

Caroline E. Brown is a partner in Crowell & Moring’s Washington, D.C. office and a member of the firm’s White Collar & Regulatory Enforcement and International Trade groups and the steering committee of the firm’s National Security Practice. She provides strategic advice to clients on national security matters, including anti-money laundering (AML) and economic sanctions compliance and enforcement challenges, investigations, and cross border transactions, including review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. Telecommunications Services Sector (Team Telecom).

Caroline brings over a decade of experience as a national security attorney at the U.S. Departments of Justice and the Treasury. At the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Security Division, she worked on counterespionage, cybersecurity, and counterterrorism matters and investigations, and gained unique insight into issues surrounding data privacy and cybersecurity. In that role, she also sat on both CFIUS and Team Telecom and made recommendations to DOJ senior leadership regarding whether to mitigate, block, or allow transactions under review by those interagency committees. She also negotiated, drafted, and reviewed mitigation agreements, monitored companies’ compliance with those agreements, and coordinated and supervised investigations of breaches of those agreements.

Photo of Dj Wolff Dj Wolff

David (Dj) Wolff is a partner and attorney at law in the firm’s Washington, D.C. and London offices and a director with C&M International, the firm’s trade policy affiliate.

At Crowell & Moring, he practices in the International Trade Group, where his practice…

David (Dj) Wolff is a partner and attorney at law in the firm’s Washington, D.C. and London offices and a director with C&M International, the firm’s trade policy affiliate.

At Crowell & Moring, he practices in the International Trade Group, where his practice covers compliance with U.S. economic sanctions, export controls and antiboycott regimes, and anti-money laundering (AML) laws and regulations. He is experienced in providing day-to-day compliance guidance, developing compliance programs including through on-site compliance trainings, responding to government inquiries, conducting internal investigations, representing them during civil and criminal enforcement proceedings, and, in collaboration with colleagues, managing the potential conflict of laws that can arise from the interaction between extraterritorial impacts of U.S. regulations and third country “blocking” laws or data privacy regulations. Dj splits his time between Washington and London, working regularly with European clients and colleagues to provide coordinated guidance on U.S., U.K., and EU sanctions compliance and enforcement. Dj also has extensive experience in international mergers and acquisitions, advising both buyers and sellers regarding the international trade implications of a potential deal.

Photo of Nicole Succar Nicole Succar

Nicole Sayegh Succar is a counsel in Crowell & Moring’s New York office. She is a member of the firm’s International Trade Group and works closely with White Collar & Regulatory Enforcement Group. Nicole provides compliance counseling and investigations services related to U.S.

Nicole Sayegh Succar is a counsel in Crowell & Moring’s New York office. She is a member of the firm’s International Trade Group and works closely with White Collar & Regulatory Enforcement Group. Nicole provides compliance counseling and investigations services related to U.S. economic sanctions, and the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), and anti-money laundering laws (AML) and regulations. Nicole is a former sanctions officer with the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the U.S. Treasury Department agency responsible for administering and enforcing economic sanctions. While at OFAC, Nicole handled complex matters relating to U.S. sanctions against Russia, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, and Syria.

Photo of Anand Sithian Anand Sithian

Anand Sithian is a counsel in Crowell & Moring’s New York office. He is a member of the International Trade and the White Collar & Regulatory Enforcement groups. Anand advises clients on a variety of regulatory issues and investigations relating to anti-money laundering…

Anand Sithian is a counsel in Crowell & Moring’s New York office. He is a member of the International Trade and the White Collar & Regulatory Enforcement groups. Anand advises clients on a variety of regulatory issues and investigations relating to anti-money laundering (AML), the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), U.S. economic sanctions, including those administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), and asset forfeiture matters. Anand routinely counsels clients on the novel application of these laws and regulations to issues involving financial institutions, technology and social media, virtual currency and digital assets (including the seizure and forfeiture of virtual currencies), and the evolving cannabis industry.

Rachel Schumacher

Rachel Schumacher is an associate in the International Trade and Government Contracts groups in Crowell & Moring’s Washington, D.C. office. Rachel’s practice focuses on transactions, investigations, and compliance and advisory matters involving a variety of government contracts and international trade issues.