04 Mar 2022
As the war rages in the Ukraine, the international business community is understandably concerned that it is able to comply fully with the sanctions that are being imposed by governments across the world.
To help you to keep track of the huge swathe of sanctions that have been introduced over the last seven days, this week’s AML roundup is dedicated to informing you about the very latest actions that have been taken across the world.
It is far longer than our usual AML Roundup, but these are unprecedented times and require us to be more vigilant than ever to ensure that we are all fully compliant.
N.B. While the information contained in the articles listed below may have been correct at the time of publication, the sanctions landscape is continually shifting.
A sanctions compliance emergency
“First and foremost, businesses need to understand that sanctions are designed to prohibit the facilitation of activities by sanctioned parties. That means they can breach a sanction not only by having a sanctioned person or entity as a client but by doing anything that facilitates prohibited activity.”
As war rages in Ukraine, how should businesses react to the emergency in order to guarantee compliance and protect their reputation?
Belarus hit by first wave of UK sanctions
The UK has announced its first set of sanctions against senior military figures in Belarus specifically in relation to their role in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
UK targets Central Bank of the Russian Federation
The UK is working immediately to “prohibit any UK natural or legal persons from undertaking financial transactions involving the CBR”.
UK fast-tracks law to tackle Russian ‘dirty money’
The UK is fast tracking legislation targeting money laundering by foreign oligarchs, part of which will require foreign property owners to declare their identities instead of using companies as a mask.
BP offloads its stake in Russian oil company Rosneft
After pressure from the UK, oil giant BP is offloading its 20% stake (an estimated £10.4bn) in Rosneft. Their chief executive Bernard Looney has also resigned with immediate effect.
The EU introduces a range of restrictive measures
Here you will find the most up-to-date measures as they are released by the EU.
EU seeking to ensure Russia doesn’t use Crypto currencies or assets circumvent sanctions
To stop Russia circumventing the financial sanctions decided upon by the 27 EU countries, additional measures are being taken to prevent the use of crypto currencies or crypto assets.
Switzerland adopts entire EU sanctions package
Ditching its hard stance on neutrality, Switzerland has agreed to adopt the EU’s sanction package. In addition, five oligarchs close to Putin have been banned from entering the country.
Credit Suisse asks investors to destroy documents linked to oligarch yacht loans
Credit Suisse has asked investors to destroy documents relating to the securitisation of loans backed by luxury goods such jets, yachts and real estates.
Godfather of Vladimir Putin’s daughter among latest names on EU sanctions list
Sergei Roldugin, also known as “Putin’s wallet”, is one of the targets in the bloc’s ever expanding sanctions list.
Major credit cards block Russian banks from their networks
Major credit card companies, MasterCard, Visa, and American Express have all blocked multiple Russian financial institutions in compliance with government sanctions.
US follows Europe and bans Russian aircraft
Countries across Europe have banned Russian aircraft from entering their airspace, while in his state of the union address on Tuesday, President Joe Biden announced that America will also follow suit.
US launches KleptoCapture to target Russian oligarchs
The United States has launched a brand-new federal task force called ‘KleptoCapture’ to place even more financial pressure on sanctioned Russian oligarchs.
Around the world
What do the SWIFT sanctions mean?
This article from Time breaks down what the SWIFT sanctions actually mean and why countries have been so hesitant to issue them.
South Korea bans exports of strategic items to Russia
South Korea has banned the export of strategic items such as semiconductors, computers, lasers, and aerospace equipment, as well as joining the SWIFT sanctions.
Canada ramps up sanctions
Canada has also imposed new sanctions targeting banks, financial institutions, oligarchs, and members of the Russian Security Council.
We’re imposing new and severe sanctions on those responsible for Russia’s brutal, unjustified attack on Ukraine. These sanctions will target banks, financial elites, and members of the Russian Security Council — including the Defence, Finance, and Justice Ministers. pic.twitter.com/JsEodukwcZ
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) February 25, 2022
Singapore imposes sanctions on Russia
In a move not seen since 1978, Singapore is placing unilateral sanctions on Russia. Exports of items which could be used as weapons in Ukraine are expected to have controls placed on them.
Japan freezes Russia’s central bank assets
As part of its new sanctions against Russia, Japan has frozen the assets of three financial institutions as well as several individuals, including Vladimir Putin and the Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov.
UAE bank halts Russia bank loans
Mashreq Bank has stopped lending to Russian banks and is reviewing its existing exposure. Although the UAE have not introduced sanctions, it’s one of the first instances of a Middle Eastern bank cutting ties with Russia.
Russia faces mass exodus from corporate world
In response to the invasion, numerous companies have been pulling out of Russia this past week:
- Volvo has suspended car shipments
- Shell and Equinor announced plans to end joint ventures
- Disney, Warner and Sony stop release of films
- Airbus and Boeing suspended support to Russian airlines
- Baker McKenzie has severed ties with several Russian clients
- Apple and Nike stops sale of products
- Harley-Davidson stops shipment of products
- Don’t expect sanctions to fix the UK’s systemic illicit finance problems
- Exclusive: 623 new ‘British’ companies are actually controlled from Russia
- At least 10 Russian billionaires have dropped out of the three-comma club as Russian stocks tank
Webinar | Meeting the challenge of the Russia sanctions compliance emergency
Join us for this special RiskScreen webinar focusing on the latest sanctions imposed on Russia. Stephen Platt, RiskScreen’s CEO & Founder and Tom Devlin, Senior Director, Regulatory & Product, will explore topics such as how the West’s response to the Ukraine crisis breaks new ground in sanctions compliance and the unique challenges of complying with evolving sanctions against Russia.
Register here to reserve your seat for this valuable compliance webinar.
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