On 26 February 2021, the European Commission, France, Germany, Italy, the UK, Canada and the US released a coordinated statement condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine and committing to further restrictive measures, including:

  • Ensuring that selected Russian banks are removed from the SWIFT messaging system, which facilitates global cross-border financial transfers. The affected banks have not yet been named.
  • Imposing restrictive measures that will prevent the Russian Central Bank from deploying its international reserves in ways that undermine the impact of sanctions.
  • Acting against the individuals and entities facilitating the war in Ukraine and the harmful activities of the Russian government. This will include taking measures to limit the sale of citizenship (so-called “golden passports”) that enable wealthy Russians connected to the Russian government to become citizens of these jurisdictions and gain access to their financial systems.
  • Launching this coming week a transatlantic task force to ensure the effective implementation of financial sanctions by identifying and freezing the assets of sanctioned individuals and companies that exist within these jurisdictions. This includes a commitment to employing sanctions and other financial and enforcement measures on additional Russian officials and elites close to the Russian government (as well as their families) and their enablers to identify and freeze the assets they hold in these jurisdictions. They will also engage with other governments to detect and disrupt the movement of ill-gotten gains, and to restrict the ability of these individuals to hide their assets in other jurisdictions.
  • Coordinating against disinformation and other forms of hybrid warfare.

The exact scope of these measures is yet to be confirmed. We will blog further once additional information has been published.


Adeel Haque is an Associate in Baker McKenzie's London office. He is a member of the International Commercial & Trade and Antitrust & Competition practice groups. Adeel qualified in September 2019 and has spent time working in the Firm's Hong Kong office.