Obama Administration Issues New Executive Order Responding to Crisis in Ukraine

On March 6, 2014, President Obama issued a new Executive Order (“E.O.”), entitled “Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine.” This E.O. is an initial step in the U.S. government’s response to the actions of persons and entities who have threatened the peace and stability of Ukraine, including those persons who have asserted governmental authority in the Crimean region without the authorization of the Government of Ukraine.

In summary, the E.O. requires the blocking of property and interests of property in the United States or in the possession of any United States person of any persons or entities who: 

  • are responsible for or complicit in (a) actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in Ukraine; (b) actions or policies that threaten the peace, security, sovereignty or territorial integrity of Ukraine; or (c) misappropriation of state assets of Ukraine or of an economically significant entity in Ukraine;
  • have asserted governmental authority over any part of Ukraine without the authorization of the Government of Ukraine;
  • are a leader of an entity that has engaged in any activity referred to in the foregoing sections;
  • have materially assisted or provided financial or other support for any activity referred to in the foregoing sections; or
  • are owned or controlled by, or have acted on behalf of, any person or entity referred to in the foregoing sections.

The E.O. also imposes a visa ban by suspending entry into the United States of persons covered by the E.O. 

The E.O. did not specify the names of individuals or entities who would be targeted by these restrictions, and it is important to note that the E.O. is not limited to individuals or entities within Ukraine (i.e., it applies to Russian citizens or citizens of other countries as well). This E.O. is designed to provide the legal foundation for the U.S. government to impose additional sanctions against any person or entity found to be undermining the stability of Ukraine. Because the situation in Ukraine is fluid and developing, we would expect that specific names of individuals or entities targeted by these sanctions may be announced by the Office of Foreign Assets Control in the coming days or weeks. The U.S. government is coordinating with European Union officials, who have also announced plans with respect to targeted sanctions. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide additional updates as appropriate.

Click here for the full text of the E.O.  

For two decades, Linklaters has been at the forefront of financial, corporate and commercial developments in Russia. Linklaters also has extensive experience working with international corporate clients and financial institutions investing in Ukraine. With our on-the-ground presence in Moscow and our reputation as a leading international firm in Russia and Ukraine, we are well positioned to advise our clients on the ongoing developments in Russia and Ukraine.

For more information about this or other U.S. sanctions-related queries, please contact Jim Warnot, Brenda DiLuigi or your usual Linklaters contact.

For more information about our capabilities in Russia and Ukraine, please contact Dmitry Dobatkin, Matthew Keats, Dominic Sanders or your usual Linklaters contact.