Further countries undertake to identify and sanction Russian assets

Thursday, 03 March 2022
Various countries are continuing to introduce sanctions against Russia, with the Crown Dependencies, European Union, UK and US all implementing measures.

Switzerland has also broken from its tradition of staying outside the international sanctions regime and has agreed to adopt the EU sanctions against Russia. It will examine each further package of sanctions imposed by the EU on a case-by-case basis.

As an EU Member State, Cyprus has implemented EU measures against Russian entities and the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission has told regulated entities to inform it of any of their business relationships that are affected by today (3 March 2022).

All three of the Crown Dependencies are following the UK's lead on measures against Russia. Jersey's Minister of External Relations has undertaken to 'give effect to the policy intention of all additional measures introduced' by the UK against Russia, in addition to following all UK and UN sanctions. The UK government has already announced the acceleration of economic crime measures contained in the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Bill 2022, to create a compulsory register of foreign entities that own UK property and their beneficial owners.

Jersey 'will not hesitate to take targeted measures to prevent Jersey services providers or structures being abused', said its government. It is setting up a central taskforce to identify and investigate all relevant Russian assets in Jersey, to then be reported to international authorities including the transatlantic taskforce. 'Any links to sanctioned entities or suspected breaches must be reported to the appropriate authorities', it said. The Jersey Financial Services Commission has launched a programme to obtain up-to-date information from regulated businesses on their current connections with Belarus, Russia and Ukraine.

The US Department of Justice has announced the launch of an inter-agency task force, called KleptoCapture, to enforce the US' sanctions, export restrictions and economic countermeasures against Russia. 'The Justice Department will use all of its authorities to seize the assets of individuals and entities who violate these sanctions', said US Attorney-General Merrick Garland. It intends to target efforts to use cryptocurrency to evade sanctions or launder proceeds of foreign corruption, and use civil and criminal asset forfeiture authorities to seize assets belonging to sanctioned individuals or assets identified as the proceeds of unlawful conduct.


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