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CAATSA

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On July 15, 2020, the US Department of State (“State Department”) updated its guidance (“Updated Guidance”) regarding the implementation of Section 232 of Title II of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (“CAATSA” see our previous blog post on CAATSA here and our previous blog post on the 2017 State Department guidance on CAATSA Section 232 here). The Updated Guidance expands the scope of CAATSA Section 232 to target certain investments or other activities related to the…

On December 19, 2018, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) submitted a letter to congressional leaders (“Congressional Letter”) notifying Congress of its intent to terminate the sanctions imposed on En+ Group plc (“En+”), UC Rusal plc (“RUSAL”), and JSC EuroSibEnergo (“ESE”) in 30 days.  On the same day, OFAC announced new sanctions against a number of individuals and entities for their involvement in a  range of malign activities.  Concurrently, the US Department of State announced it had added 12 individuals and entities to the List of Specified Persons under Section 231 of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (“CAATSA”) for being part of, or operating for or on behalf of, the defense or intelligence sector of the Russian Federation.

In the past week, the US Government took several significant steps related to the US sanctions against Russia.  These included imposing sanctions pursuant to Section 231 of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (“CAATSA”) for the first time and expanding the list of persons and entities identified as being part of the Russian defense or intelligence sectors under CAATSA Section 231.  The US Government also clarified the scope of a sanctions waiver impacting foreign subsidiaries in Russia under the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 (the “CBW Act”).  Finally, the US Government extended the expiration dates for several general licenses related to United Company RUSAL PLC (“RUSAL”) and EN+ Group PLC (“EN+ Group”).

On March 15, 2018, the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) added 14 individuals and one entity, the so-called Russian “troll farm” Internet Research Agency LLC (“IRA”), to the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (“SDN List”).  OFAC announced a total of 24 designations against persons pursuant to Executive Order (“EO”) 13694 (issued April 1, 2015 and amended December 29, 2016), which is the “Cyber EO” that targets certain “malicious cyber-enabled activities,” and pursuant to Section 224 of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (“CAATSA”) , which specifically targets cyber actors who operate on behalf of the Russian government.  Nine of the 24 persons identified in OFAC’s announcement were already included on the SDN List.  Please see our prior blog post on CAATSA here and prior blog posts on the Cyber EO and its amendment here, here, and here.