New UK sanctions slew includes Alfa Bank, Wagner Group, and ‘collaborationist mayor’

The UK government (which, it says, has ‘lead the international sanctions effort’) has, 24 March, imposed sanctions against new Russian targets, including:

‘Russian Railways and defence company Kronshtadt, the main producer of Russian drones,’ the private military company, the Wagner Group,’ six banks, including Alfa Bank, and individuals including ‘billionaire oil tycoon Eugene Shvidler, founder of Tinkoff bank Oleg Tinkov, Herman Gref, the CEO of Russia’s largest bank Sberbank, and Polina Kovaleva, Foreign Minister Lavrov’s step daughter.’

It adds that ‘Galina Danilchenko, who was installed by Russia as the “mayor” of Melitopol is also sanctioned – the first time an individual has been sanctioned for collaboration with Russian forces currently in Ukraine.’

The Foreign Office said that ‘the provisions brought in by the Economic Crime Act have streamlined the previous legislation so the UK can respond even more swiftly and effectively to the current crisis. The government will continue to tighten the screw and use sanctions to degrade the Russian economy on a scale that the Kremlin, or any major economy, has never seen before.’

Sanctions ‘piggy-back’

In a number of cases, the designations include the following wording: ‘The designation is made as a designation by name under the urgent procedure. The relevant provision by reference to which the Minister considers that condition B is met is Canada’s Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations. The purposes of this provision correspond or are similar to the purposes of the UK’s Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, which have as their purposes to encourage Russia to cease actions destabilising Ukraine or undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty or independence of Ukraine. The Minister considers that it is in the public interest to designate (condition C).’

Roger Matthews, a partner at the London office of the law firm Dentons, explained to WorldECR that the recently adopted Economic Crime Act ‘introduced an Urgency procedure, by which designations could be made essentially piggybacking off a designation made by EU, US, Canada or Australia. An Urgency designation is valid only for 56 days, so within that period HMG has to find the evidence to support a designation.’

New UK sanctions slew includes Alfa Bank, Wagner Group, and ‘collaborationist mayor’