Industry News

President Restricts Travel and Issues Sanctions Against Russia
March 6, 2014

Today, the United States Government has imposed new sanctions on Russia intended to restrict travel and freeze the assets of people the Obama Administration identifies as being involved in the invasion of Crimea.

President Obama this morning issued an Executive Order blocking assets of persons and entities materially supporting the Russian actions in Ukraine.  The order blocks the property and assets of people and entities who are involved in or providing assistance to the Russian actions in Ukraine.  However, the order also covers parties that have materially assisted in those actions by providing financial, material, or technical support.  These sanctions have the potential to be broad reaching.  Hypothetically, a company that has done legal business with the Russian military or with any member of the pro-Russian factions in Crimea might be dealing with individuals or entities who will be blocked under this order, even if the transactions involve mundane products or services.

Further, under the order, Russian companies that have provided materials to the Russian government and also have assets in the U.S. may have their assets blocked if it is found they provided assistance in these actions.

The United States has not identified specific individuals or entities that will be targeted by the sanctions.  A list of blocked persons will likely be published by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) shortly.

Furthermore, the State Department, pursuant to guidance issued by the President, has instituted visa restrictions on a number of officials and individuals, reflecting a policy decision to deny visas to those responsible for or complicit in threatening the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.  This new step stands in addition to the policy already implemented to deny visas to those involved in human rights abuses related to political oppression in Ukraine.

Should you have any questions, please contact a Barnes/Richardson attorney.  We will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available.

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