On January 29, 2018, the US Treasury Department (“Treasury”) delivered five reports to Congress, as required under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (“CAATSA”). Please see our prior blog post on CAATSA here. Among these reports was a list identifying Russian senior political figures, oligarchs, and parastatal entities pursuant to CAATSA Section 241. This report was released during the same week that other CAATSA sanctions targeting Russia have gone into effect.
On October 31, 2017, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) amended and reissued Directive 4 of the Ukraine/Russia-related sectoral sanctions (“Directive 4”), which targets the Russian energy sector, and updated its guidance regarding the implementation of Ukraine/Russia-related sanctions. OFAC’s amendment and reissuance of Directive 4 was expected pursuant to Section 223(d) of Title II of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (“CAATSA” see our previous blog post on CAATSA here). Also under CAATSA, Directive 1 and Directive 2 were amended and reissued on September 29, 2017 (see our previous blog post here). OFAC originally published Directive 4 in September of 2014, pursuant to Executive Order 13662. In conjunction with OFAC’s guidance, the US Department of State (“State Department”) also published guidance regarding CAATSA Sections 225 and 232.
On October 27, 2017, the US State Department issued guidance regarding Section 231 of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (“CAATSA”; see our previous blog post on the CAATSA here). This provision requires that the President impose retaliatory sanctions on any individual or entity, regardless of nationality, that knowingly engages in a “significant transaction” with a person that is determined to be part of, or operates for or on behalf of, the defense or intelligence sectors of the Government of the Russian Federation. The State Department will not begin imposing retaliatory sanctions under Section 231 until January 29, 2018, but this guidance provides important information for US and non-US companies that do business in Russia with the entities targeted by entities.