March 4, 2022

Coordinated sanctions imposed upon Russian elites; OFAC also sanctions Russian disinformation outlets

On March 3, 2022, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control and the US Department of State, along with several international partners and allies, combined efforts to target numerous Russian elites and their businesses.  In addition, OFAC designated multiple Russian intelligence-directed disinformation outlets in an effort to intensify pressure on Russia for its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. 

OFAC designated the elites pursuant to the Executive Order 14024 and Russian Harmful Foreign Activities Sanctions Regulations (RuHSR) targeting 3 Russian elites, 2 of their spouses, 3 of their adult children, 6 of their companies and blocked one of Russia’s largest privately-owned jets and one of the world’s largest superyachts.  OFAC designated a total of 26 individuals from Russia or Ukraine and 7 Russian entities for supporting the Government of the Russian Federation’s campaign to promulgate disinformation.  These sanctions were made pursuant to EO 14024, EO 13661 for contributing to the situation in Ukraine, EO 13848 for supporting an entity that interfered in a US election, EO 13694 for engaging in malicious cyber activity, or section 224(a)(1)(B) of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).   As a result of these designations, all property and interests in property of today’s designees within the United States or within the possession or control of a US person are blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions involving the designated persons unless authorized by OFAC.  In addition, entities owned fifty percent or more by one or more designated persons are also blocked.

The US State Department also imposed far-reaching sanctions upon 22 of Russia’s defense-related firms in an effort to impact entities that directly support Russia’s military.

These actions were taken in close coordination with the European Union, United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, the Republic of Korea and Australia as a demonstration of the global support for Ukraine and the wide-spread commitment to hold Russia responsible for their unjustified actions.  The US Treasury also committed to share financial intelligence and other evidence with the US Department of Justice to facilitate criminal prosecutions and the seizure of assets where appropriate and, in a Joint Statement by several leaders on February 26, 2022, the US agreed to cooperate with international partners and allies to identify and freeze assets of sanctioned individuals in jurisdictions around the world.

On the same day, the UK’s Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation issued a Financial Sanctions Notice announcing that assets in the UK belonging to two members of the Russian elite were frozen pursuant to Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019/855).

In a Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the European Union issued on March 3, 2022, the EU announced the adoption of Council Decision (CFSP) 2022/337 by the European Council on February 28, 2022 that added 26 individuals and 1 entity to the list of persons and entities subject to the restrictive measures in Annex to Decision 2014/145/CFSP that include asset freezes and travel bans.

US Department of Treasury Press Release | OFSI Financial Sanctions Notice | European Council Press Release | Council Decision (CFSP) 2002/337