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US Extends Sanctions List Over Ukraine
December 23, 2015 11:11

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The US has tightened restrictions on Russia over the Ukraine crisis on 34 additional people and entities, soon after State Secretary John Kerry’s visit to Moscow.
The action helps "maintain the efficacy of existing sanctions" established after Russia's annexation of the Crimean peninsula last year and support for eastern Ukrainian separatists, the Treasury Department said.
U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said the move is to “counter attempts to circumvent these sanctions, to further align U.S. measures with those of its international allies, and to provide additional information to assist the private sector with sanctions compliance.”
“It is critical that Russia takes the steps necessary to comply with its obligations under the Minsk Agreements and to ensure a peaceful settlement of the conflict in Ukraine,” said John E. Smith, Acting OFAC Director.  “By more closely matching our designations with those of our international partners and thwarting attempts to evade sanctions¸ we are once again demonstrating the United States’ unwavering resolve to pressure Russia to respect the security and sovereignty of Ukraine,” according to a press release published on the Treasury Department’s website.
Among the 12 entities which have been placed under sanctions are “three Russian banks and one Crimea-based bank (Joint Stock Company Genbank, Open Joint Stock Company Krasnodar Regional Investment Bank, Open Joint Stock Company Commercial Bank Verkhnevolzhsky, and Sevastopolsky Morskoy Bank); a Crimean state-owned enterprise engaged in air transportation (State Enterprise Universal-Avia); a distillery (the Crimean Enterprise Azov Distillery Plant); three wineries (State Concern National Production and Agricultural Association Massandra, State Enterprise Factory of Sparkling Wine Novy Svet, and State Enterprise Magarach of the National Institute of Wine); a health resort (Resort Nizhnyaya Oreanda); a Russian engineering company (Technopromexport); and a film production studio (the Yalta Film Studio),” says the report.
Six of the 12 entities were previously designated by the EU.  These six entities are: State Enterprise Universal-Avia, the Crimean Enterprise Azov Distillery Plant, State Concern National Production and Agricultural Association Massandra, Resort Nizhnyaya Oreanda, State Enterprise Factory of Sparkling Wine Novy Svet, and State Enterprise Magarach of the National Institute of Wine.

OFAC also identified a number of subsidiaries of VTB Bank, Sberbank, and Rostec as being owned 50 percent or more by their respective parent entities.  The two banks and one defense company were previously sanctioned pursuant to E.O. 13662 in September 2014.  The subsidiaries identified today were already subject to the same financing restrictions as their respective parent entities per OFAC’s Revised Guidance on Entities Owned by Persons Whose Property and Interests in Property Are Blocked (“50 percent rule guidance”). 

Author: Mikhail Vesely

Tags: Russia International     

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