On Feb. 24, 2022, President Biden announced significant new export controls and sanctions against Russia in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The latest sanctions package comes on the heels of a first wave of U.S. sanctions announced over the past several days, and combines financial restrictions implemented by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and significant new export controls implemented by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS).
Second Wave of Sanctions
In his speech on Feb. 24, 2022, President Biden announced a second wave of sanctions designed to seriously impact Russia’s financial sector and access to capital. These measures follow an initial sanctions package announced on Feb. 22, 2022, which was targeted at the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic (collectively, the Covered Regions) as well as the sanctions relating to Nord Stream 2 issued Feb. 23, 2022. In conjunction with President Biden’s announcement, OFAC implemented the following additional sanctions measures:
- Cut off Sberbank, Russia’s largest financial institution, from the U.S. financial system by prohibiting correspondent and payable-through accounts);
- Designated several other Russian financial institutions as Specially Designated Nationals (SDNs) – including Russia’s second-largest financial institution, VTB Bank – rendering their U.S. assets blocked and prohibiting U.S. persons from engaging in virtually all dealings with them;
- Restricted U.S. person dealings in new debt and equity of over a dozen significant Russian enterprises and entities; and
- Designated several Russian and Belarusian individuals and entities as SDNs (which, as noted above, freezes their assets and prevents virtually all U.S. person dealings).
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