Russia Sanctions a Double-Edged Sword?
On July 29, 2014 the European Council, announced that the European Union had agreed a package of significant additional restrictive measures targeting sectoral cooperation and exchanges with the Russian Federation.
The sanctions imposed on Russia are aimed at banking, energy and defense industries, including the Russian shipping and shipbuilding industry.
“These decisions will limit access to EU capital markets for Russian State-owned financial institutions, impose an embargo on trade in arms, establish an export ban for dual use goods for military end users, and curtail Russian access to sensitive technologies particularly in the field of the oil sector,” writes Gavin Simmonds, Head of Security at the UK Chamber.
In addition to the impact on routine shipping operations the imposition of measures relating to the provision of insurance and reinsurance and in the oil and gas sector will have additional economic impact on UK companies.
The European Council widened the designation criteria in the legal basis for the restrictive measures. This paves the way for imposing asset freezes and visa bans on persons and entities that actively support or are benefiting from Russian decision makers responsible for the annexation of Crimea or the destabilisation of Eastern Ukraine.
In addition a decision was taken by the Ukrainian government closing the Crimean ports for international shipping.
The directive issued relates to the ports of Kerch, Theodosia, Sevastopol, Yalta and Evpatoria.
The directive is presently with the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, and will take formal effect once officially published.
If a vessel calls at a port in Ukraine after a call at a port in the Crimean region, then penalties could result, including delays, detention and fines.
Formal prosecution steps could also follow by Ukrainian authorities.
World Maritime News Staff, August 1, 2014