Russia adopts its legal framework against US and EU sanctions programs

June 7th, by Arnaud FENDLER

On the 4th of June, in response to the sanctions imposed on Russia by the United States and other foreign countries, Russian Governmental authorities passed a law authorizing the President to implement several countermeasures against these actions targeting Russia.

With these new provisions, the Russian Government now has the ability to prevent companies from countries having adopted sanctions against Russia from participating in state purchase contracts and privatization of public assets operations. Russian companies whose assets are detained by foreign entities could also be threatened by these sanctions.

Also the law gives the President the power to limit the number of importations and exportations made with targeted countries and to ban the importation of certain goods originating from these countries. However, the law clearly states that the implementation of such countermeasures should not deprive access for Russian citizens to essential products (such as foodstuffs, medical drugs, etc.).

Although it creates numerous discretionary powers to the benefit of the President, the law was significantly watered down during its adoption process. Indeed, the first version of the bill examined by the Parliament contained tougher provisions towards foreign and Russian entities compliant with foreign countries sanctions programs towards Russia. Indeed, a 200 000 rubbles fine and a period of four years of imprisonment was initially intended to be applied to anybody refusing to provide services or business to a Russian individual or entity in application of the economic sanctions imposed by foreign countries.

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