Navigating US-Russia Sanctions

Navigating US-Russia Sanctions

On 6 April 2018, the US imposed sanctions on a number of Russian oligarchs, government officials and entities, adding their names to the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list. The sanctions freeze the assets of these people and entities and prevents US persons from dealing with them.

'US Persons' include entities organised under US law (and their non-US branches), individuals and entities in the US, and US citizens and permanent residents ('Green Card' holders). But Fieldfisher points out that in practice the scope of the sanctions extends beyond US Persons. Non-US Persons could face sanctions for knowingly facilitating significant transactions for or on behalf of an SDN. Foreign financial institutions are susceptible to restrictions on the opening or maintenance of correspondent or 'payable through' accounts in the US if such accounts facilitate significant financial transactions on behalf of sanctioned persons. Fieldfisher notes that, "These penalties operate in effect to bar non-US persons from doing any business with the newly targeted companies and their oligarch owners."

Russia is already preparing counter-measures in the form of sanctions to be imposed on the US and other countries that have imposed sanctions on Russia. These measures are likely to severely restrict the ability of companies from affected countries to do business in Russia. 

The Fieldfisher report goes into more detail on all these matters, and outlines how Fieldfisher can help firms who think they might be affected either by the American sanctions or by the expected Russian counter-measures. The report was written by Vivien Davies, a Partner in Fieldfisher's Dispute Resolution Practice and Vanessa Wilkinson, an Associate in the Dispute Resolution Practice. The full report can be seen here.