March 27, 2022

UK Foreign Secretary announces 65 new Russia-related and Belarus-related sanctions; OFSI issues two related general licenses

On March 24, 2022, the UK’s Foreign Secretary Liz Truss announced 65 new sanctions targeting a range of key strategic industries, entities and individuals that aided Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, including 59 individuals and entities under The Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019/855) and 6 entities under The Republic of Belarus (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019/600).  Some key entities that were sanctioned include Russian Railways; Kronshtadt, the main producer of Russian drones; the Wagner Group, the organization that Russian mercenaries reportedly tasked with the assassination of President Zelenskyy; and Alrosa, the world’s largest diamond producer.  The UK also sanctioned 6 banks including Belarus-based Bank of Debrabyt Joint Stock Company and Alfa Bank JSC, one of the largest private banks in Russia cofounded by previously-sanctioned oligarchs.  Among the newly-sanctioned individuals are billionaire oil tycoon Eugene Shvidler and Herman Gref, the CEO of Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank.  The 65 individuals and entities will be subject to restrictive measures that include asset freezes, travel bans and transport sanctions that make it criminal offense for Russian aircraft to fly or land in the UK and bans Russian ships from UK ports.  

On the same day, OFSI also issued two general licenses to allow wind down activities with 6 newly-designated banks for a period of 30 days. OFSI issued General License INT/2022/1424276 under Regulation 64 of The Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 to authorize a 30-day wind down period to allow positions involving the following 5 banks: Alfa Bank JSC, GazPromBank, Rosselkhozbank, SMP Bank, and Ural Bank for Reconstruction and Development. OFSI also issued General License INT/2022/1424277 under Regulation 32 of The Republic of Belarus (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 to authorize a 30-day wind down period to allow positions involving Bank Debrabyt Joint Stock Company.  Both general licenses enable a Person (other than the designated person (DP) or a Subsidiary) to wind down any transaction with a DP or a Subsidiary to which it is a party; this includes the closing out of any positions.  In addition, a Person, Relevant Institution or the DP or a Subsidiary may engage in any activity that is reasonably necessary to effect this.  Both general licenses expire on April 23, 2022.
OFSI encourages persons intending to use these general licenses to consult a copy of the license for full details of the permissions and usage requirements.

UK Foreign Secretary Press Release | OFSI Financial Sanctions Notice – Russia | OFSI Financial Sanctions Notice – Belarus | General License INT/2022/1424276 | General License INT/2022/1424277