US Sanctions against Russia


In the past several days, the US Government has issued a slew of sanctions measures targeting Russia. These represent the first major escalation of sanctions against Russia under the Biden Administration and, according to a White House Fact Sheet , are stated to be in response to Russia’s “harmful foreign activities,” including efforts to undermine free and fair democratic elections and institutions, malicious cyber activities (including the recent SolarWinds incident), transnational corruption, targeting of dissidents…

On March 2, 2021, the US Government imposed a series of new measures against Russian Government officials and entities in response to the alleged poisoning and subsequent imprisonment of Russian opposition politician Aleksey Navalny. Specifically, the US State Department (“State”) imposed a number of financial sanctions and export restrictions on Russia; the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) within the US Treasury Department designated seven Russian officials to the List of Specially Designated Nationals and…

In a notification published in the Federal Register on August 26, 2019, the State Department provided additional information on restrictions on exports to Russia that were initially described by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on August 2, 2019 when he announced the second round of targeted sanctions on Russia under the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 (the “CBW Act”).  Our blog post on the August 2, 2019 announcement (“Announcement”), which described sanctions measures concerning multilateral bank assistance and lending to or participation in debt offerings by the Russian sovereign, in addition to restrictions on exports to Russia described in further detail below, is available here.

On August 2, 2019, the US State Department announced targeted sanctions against Russia related to the March 2018 use of a “novichok” nerve agent in an attempt to assassinate UK citizen Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal in the United Kingdom.  This was the second round of sanctions required under the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 (the “CBW Act”) following the State Department’s determination on November 6, 2018 that Russia had failed to provide reliable assurances that it would not engage in future chemical weapons attacks. The US Government issued the first round of CBW Act sanctions on August 27, 2018. See our blog post on the first round of CBW Act sanctions here.