UK Imposes Asset Freeze on Sberbank, Credit Bank of Moscow, and Prominent Russian Oligarchs Active in Key Industries as Part of Latest Package of Measures

Today, the United Kingdom announced its next package of sanctions on Russia. The measures, elements of which were implemented today, are aimed at reducing dependency on Russian energy, and further degrading Russia’s economy and capabilities. In today’s action, the UK expanded its financial sanctions to subject Sberbank, the Credit Bank of Moscow, and Russian oligarchs to asset freeze restrictions. Further actions, including a ban on outbound investment from the United Kingdom to Russia, are expected. The UK imposed asset freeze sanctions on the following prominent Russian oligarchs involved in key industries such as energy, fertilizers, and diamonds:
  • Ivanov, Sergei Sergeivich, President of Alrosa, a prominent diamond producer;
  • Rotenberg, Boris Borisovich, the son of a co-owner of SGM, Russia’s largest gas pipeline producer;
  • Akimov, Andrey Igorevich, CEO of Gazprombank, one of Russia’s largest banks;
  • Dyukov, Alexander Valeryevich, CEO of GazpromNeft, a prominent state-owned oil producer in Russia;
  • Kogogin, Sergey Anatolyevich, director of Kamaz, a truck and bus manufacturer utilized by Russian military;
  • Guryev, Andrey Grigoryevich, close associate of Putin and founder of PhosAgro, a fertilizer company;
  • Mikhelson, Leonid Viktorovich, founder and CEO of Novatek, leading natural gas producer;
  • Kantor, Viatcheslav, the largest shareholder to Acron, a fertilizer company.
All accounts, and other funds or economic resources, and any funds owned or controlled by designated individuals and entities in the UK must be frozen and UK persons must refrain from dealing with frozen funds or assets unless authorized. As with U.S. blocking restrictions, reporting and anti-circumvention requirements apply. That said, the UK issued and amended temporary general licenses permitting certain dealings with the Credit Bank of Moscow and Sberbank, respectively. Under those general licenses, persons subject to UK jurisdiction may wind down transactions involving the Credit Bank of Moscow, including closing out of any positions, and any other activity reasonably necessary to effect such authorized wind down activities. The license regarding transactions with the Credit Bank of Moscow expires on May 6, 2022. Moreover, subject to conditions, U.K. credit or financial institutions are authorized to process Sterling-denominated payments involving Sberbank for purposes of making crude oil, petroleum products, and gas available in the United Kingdom. The authorization expires on June 24, 2022.