Sanctions against Russia related to its aggression against Ukraine have been imposed at the international level since 2014. There are many types of these sanctions. Today, in terms of the number of sanctions imposed (about 10,000, the Russian Federation is ahead of all other countries combined. Restrictions have been applied to almost 7,200 Russian legal entities and individuals.
For our review, covered only restrictive measures in the economic field (economic sanctions) related to the Russian aggression in Ukraine, launched on February 24 this year, and imposed against legal entities and government agencies of the Russian Federation.
Conventionally, all international sanctions can be divided into five packages. The sixth package is still being discussed, it is expected to include an oil embargo by the EU countries, but there is no consent of all countries to this yet (EU sanctions are adopted only unanimously).
The first package started filling even before the Russian troops crossed the Ukrainian border.
Note that a lot of sanctions come into effect much later (a few weeks or months) after they are announced.
The first package of sanctions against Russia for recognizing "DPR" and "LPR"
On February 21, the United States banned its citizens from financing and investing in the "DPR" and "LPR", as well as from trading with them. On February 22 and 23, sanctions were imposed against banks financing the defense industry.
On February 23, the United States imposed sanctions against the Swiss company Nord Stream 2 AG, the operator of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. Germany has suspended the certification of this gas pipeline.
The UK has imposed sanctions against five Russian banks.
Australia has imposed sanctions against Russian banks and legal entities from the "DPR" and "LPR".
Canada imposed sanctions on Russian sovereign debt, transactions with the "DPR" and "LPR", and two Russian banks.
Japan limited the placement of Russian bonds on its market.
The second package of sanctions against Russia for invading Ukraine
VTB, Rostec, Aeroflot and other companies were sanctioned by the UK. A ban was imposed on Russian companies raising financing on the British market, as well as on importing technologies and equipment for oil refining to Russia.
US President Joe Biden announced "devastating" sanctions against Russia, which included:
- limiting the ability of Russian companies to make settlements in dollars, euros, pounds, and yens;
- blocking the assets of banks in the U.S. jurisdiction, a ban on dollar transactions, a ban on any transactions with American counterparties for the banks: VTB, Otkritie, Novikombank, and Sovcombank;
- restrictions on correspondent accounts in the USA for Sberbank;
- sectoral sanctions against large companies such as: Gazprombank, Russian Agricultural Bank, Alfa-Bank, Moscow Credit Bank, Gazprom, Gazprom Neft, Transneft, Rostelecom, RusHydro, ALROSA , Sovcomflot, and Russian Railways;
- restrictions on the import of high-tech products;
- restrictions on borrowing in the U.S. and European markets for Russian state-owned companies.
Participants of the sanctions campaign against the Russian Federation
The European Union imposed sanctions affecting the financial, energy, transport, and technology sectors:
- the following companies were included in the "black list", which implied a ban for European institutions on providing investments, assisting in conducting transactions with securities, as well as concluding deals: Almaz-Antey, KamAZ, the port of Novorossiysk, Rostec, Russian Railways, Sevmash, Sovcomflot and others;
- dozens of companies were included in the EU "defense list", which implied a ban on the supply of goods and technologies, as well as the provision of financial assistance;
- sanctions against four Russian banks;
- a ban on the sale of aircraft, spare parts, and equipment to Russian airlines; their insurance and maintenance were also banned;
- sale, supply, transfer, and export to Russia of goods and technologies intended for use in the aviation or space industry were prohibited;
- a ban on leasing planes, helicopters and other aircraft, as well as their insurance and maintenance;
- a ban on the supply of dual-use goods and technologies, the imposition of restrictions on the export of high-tech goods and technologies for their production;
- a ban on the supply of goods, equipment, and technologies for oil refining.
Canada suspended all export licenses for Russia.
The European Union and almost all European countries outside the union closed their airspace to any aircraft from Russia, including private ones.
The third package of sanctions against Russia for invading Ukraine
On February 26, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced a new package of sanctions. In fact, these are joint sanctions of the U.S., EU, Canada, and the UK:
- the reserves of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, located in the banks of the G7 countries, were frozen;
- VTB, Rossiya, Otkritie, Novikombank, Promsvyazbank, Sovcombank, and VEB.RF were disconnected from the SWIFT system.
South Korea and Singapore announced a ban on the supply of military and dual-use products. The South Korean authorities stated they would support the disconnection of Russian banks from SWIFT.
Japan joined the sanctions against the Russian Central Bank.
The United States banned transactions with the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation, and the National Wealth Fund, and also imposed sanctions against the RDIF.
The UK closed its seaports to ships connected with the Russian Federation and banned the export of high-tech goods: microelectronics, marine and navigation equipment.
The European Union banned the supply of euro banknotes to Russia.
The U.S. announced blocking sanctions against 22 Russian defense-related companies, as well as export controls on oil and gas equipment.
Canada stripped Russia of its "most desirable trading partner" status under WTO rules — it will no longer get benefits, such as low tariffs.
Switzerland joined the third EU sanctions package, then it joined all packages.
Singapore imposed sanctions against Russia, similar to the EU's third package.
Japan included 12 organizations on the sanctions list. Organizations associated with military companies were among them. They had their assets blocked. In addition, it introduced a ban on the export of oil refining equipment.
On April 9, the U.S. enacted a bill to ban energy imports from Russia.
By the end of 2022, the UK will completely stop importing Russian oil and oil products, as well as coal.
Australia imposed a ban on the import of oil, gas, coal, and oil products from Russia.
On March 9, the European Union announced the expansion of the third package of sanctions. It provided for a restriction on the supply of technologies for maritime navigation and radio communications to the country. Financial restrictions were extended to cryptocurrencies.
The UK imposed a ban on insurance and reinsurance of companies associated with Russia in the space and aviation industries, the export of other services and technologies in these sectors of the economy.
The U.S. additionally announced:
- a ban on the supply of dollar banknotes to the Russian Federation;
- a ban on the import of alcohol, non-industrial diamonds, and seafood from Russia.
European Union Aviation Safety Agency:
- suspended all certificates issued by it. The list of the airlines deprived of certificates included: Aeroflot, S7 Group, Volga-Dnepr, Ural Airlines, Azur, etc.;
- suspended third country airworthiness certificates for 43 Russian air carriers;
- suspended the licenses of a number of aircraft maintenance enterprises.
The fourth package of sanctions against Russia for invading Ukraine
On March 15, the European Commission announced that:
- the import of Russian steel products was banned;
- any transactions with a number of state-owned enterprises connected with the military-industrial complex were completely prohibited;
- a ban on new investments in the Russian energy sector was imposed;
- sanctions were imposed against 12 legal entities, including defense complex corporations and major oil companies. However, the sanctions allow transactions if there is a "great need" to purchase or import fossil fuels, including coal, oil and gas, titanium, aluminium, copper, nickel, palladium, and iron ore into or through the Russian Federation;
- the most favored nation trade regime for Russia was suspended, depriving it of the key benefits of the WTO membership.
Russia was also deprived of the most favored nation trade regime by Albania, Iceland, Moldova, New Zealand, Norway, North Macedonia, Montenegro, South Korea, and Japan.
- imposed an embargo on the export of 266 goods such as semiconductors, communications equipment, and advanced materials, as well as 26 technologies, including design programs for the production of microcircuits;
- banned the export of oil refining equipment and related technologies.
- banned the export of luxury goods (cars, haute couture fashion, and works of art) to Russia;
- imposed a 35% tariff on imports of the main types of Russian goods (iron, steel, fertilizers, timber, etc.);
- deprived hundreds of goods from Russia of the most favored nation treatment in trade.
Australia imposed sanctions against 11 Russian banks and government agencies.
Japan imposed sanctions against 9 legal entities.
Norway joined the EU sanctions imposed before March 9.
Australia banned the export of alumina, aluminum ores, and bauxite to Russia.
The UK imposed sanctions against 26 companies from Russia and Belarus, including: Gazprombank, Russian Agricultural Bank, Alfa-Bank, Russian Venture Company, ALROSA, defense company Kronstadt, State Rocket Center, etc.
The United States imposed sanctions against 48 companies of the defense complex of the Russian Federation: the Tactical Missiles Corporation, the High Precision Systems holding company, the Tekhmash complex, the Russian Helicopters holding, and the Kronstadt company.
The US clarified that previously imposed sanctions also applied to transactions with gold of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Welfare Fund, and the Ministry of Finance.
Canada imposed a ban on the export of certain goods and technologies to Russia to weaken the capabilities of the Russian armed forces.
Japan imposed sanctions against 81 legal entities: automobile and shipbuilding plants and electronics manufacturers.
- export of goods for the Russian energy sector and participation in companies operating in this field, providing them with financial resources;
- import of Russian iron and steel;
- export of luxury items and equipment for maritime navigation to Russia;
- financial transactions with certain SOEs.
South Korea banned the supply of 57 non-strategic goods and technologies to Russia, primarily for semiconductors, microcircuits, and computers.
Australia canceled the most favored nation trade regime for Russia and applied an additional 35% duty on imports from the Russian Federation.
The UK expanded the sanctions list to include three British companies that had helped Russia circumvent sanctions.
The U.S. imposed:
- secondary sanctions against companies that were not registered in the Russian Federation, but could help Russia evade sanctions;
- export sanctions against 96 Russian enterprises related to the defense, aerospace and maritime sectors. Selling technology to these companies will require licensing, which will be denied in most cases.
The United States banned Russia from using reserves frozen in the United States to pay off government debt.
The fifth package of sanctions against Russia for invading Ukraine and massacre in Bucha
On April 8, the European Union approved a package of sanctions that included a ban:
- on the import of Russian coal from August 2022;
- on transactions with the four largest Russian banks, including VTB;
- on Russian ships entering the ports of the Union countries (exceptions: agricultural products and food products, humanitarian and energy cargoes);
- on the work of Russian and Belarusian road transport operators (does not apply to pharmaceutical, medical, agricultural and food products, including wheat and cargo for humanitarian purposes);
- on the export to the Russian Federation of quantum computers, high-tech semiconductors, transport components, etc.;
- on the imports from the Russian Federation of a number of goods and raw materials such as timber, seeds, seafood, and alcohol;
- on Russian companies to participate in European public procurement.
A legislative loophole that allowed governments to export weapons to Russia, despite the embargo that had come into force in 2014 was also eliminated.
New Zealand decided that:
- all imports from Russia will be subject to a 35% duty;
- the export of industrial products to Russia, such as information and communication equipment and engines, was prohibited.
The United States announced imposing sanctions that included:
- freezing any assets of Alfa-Bank and Sberbank related to the U.S. financial system and prohibiting the U.S. citizens from doing business with them (except for energy-related transactions);
- a complete ban on new investments in Russia;
- restrictions against large Russian state-owned enterprises in a critical field (prohibiting the U.S. citizens from making transactions with them and freezing any of their assets in the jurisdiction of the States).
- added Sberbank and Moscow Credit Bank to the sanctions lists;
- banned the import of Russian goods made of iron and steel;
- banned the export of equipment for oil production and oil refining;
- banned all new investment in Russia;
- announced plans to completely phase out Russian oil and coal by the end of 2022, as well as "as soon as possible" — Russian gas.
- imposed an embargo on coal supplies from Russia;
- imposed a ban on the import of Russian vodka;
- froze the assets of Sberbank and Alfa-Bank and 28 other organizations;
- suspended new investments in Russia.
The United States cut off Russia’s and Belarus' access to imports of goods such as fertilizers, pipe valves, ball bearings and other parts, materials, and chemicals. Products made abroad with American equipment also require a U.S. license, which the U.S. administration promises to refuse to issue.
The European Union limited the import of fertilizers from Russia — from July 10, quotas are introduced for a period of one year.
Canada imposed sanctions against 33 enterprises related to the defense industry.
Australia imposed sanctions against 14 Russian companies. The sanctions list included Gazprom, Transneft, Rostelecom, RusHydro, shipping companies and ports, as well as ALROSA.
New Zealand imposed sanctions against 18 Russian organizations.
Japan banned the import of 38 types of goods from Russia: timber, alcoholic beverages, metalworking machines, pumps and other equipment.
The United States imposed sanctions against 29 legal entities, including TransCapitalBank, BitRiver and its 10 subsidiaries that mine cryptocurrencies. The goal is not to allow the Russian Federation to circumvent sanctions with their help.
Great Britain imposed sanctions against the Kalashnikov concern, the Progress rocket and space center, the Central Research Institute of Mechanical Engineering, the A.P. Aleksandrov Scientific Research Technological Institute and a number of other Russian research institutes.
Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Norway joined the fifth package of sanctions adopted by the EU.
Great Britain deprived the Moscow Exchange of the status of a recognized stock exchange and imposed sanctions against the metallurgical and mining company Evraz.
Ukraine has also imposed a lot of sanctions against the Russian Federation and its citizens. On May 23, a law was passed allowing the confiscation in favor of the state of the property and assets belonging to persons who support the Russian invasion.