After several serious war crimes committed by the Russian army in Ukraine, the EU has once again significantly expanded its sanctions against Russia. While some of the new sanctions extend existing prohibitions, most new sanctions provisions contain completely new trade restrictions. We summarised the main developments in this briefing.

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BLOMSTEIN hat für die Infineon vor dem Finanzgericht München einen Erfolg in einer Streitigkeit mit dem Hauptzollamt Regensburg erzielt.

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Almost four weeks after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its ongoing military aggression, the EU has adopted another – the fourth – package of sanctions against Russia on 15 March 2022. This briefing provides an overview on these latest developments, which concern not only the adding of more oligarchs and regime-affiliated elites to the EU’s sanctions list, but also tighten trade restrictions with respect to, among others, the import of steel products, the trade with luxury goods, including vehicles and their spare parts, as well as transactions with certain Russian state-owned enterprises.

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Over the past two weeks, the EU has adopted various far-reaching sanctions against Russia, the areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine, and Belarus. We have kept you updated of these developments in previous briefings. However, the large number of recent regulations and the resulting various amendments they have brought to the sanctions regime make it difficult not to lose track. Against this backdrop and following our latest briefing on financial sanctions, the following concise overview serves to provide guidance on the restrictions concerning the trade with goods and services.

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In view of “Russia’s actions destabilising the situation in Ukraine”, as the relevant Regulations coin it, the EU has tightened the financial sanctions on Russia. Introduced via Council Regulations of 25 February, 28 February and 1 March, the revised and newly inserted Articles 5 to 5i of the amended Council Regulation (EU) No 833/2014 seek to largely restrict access to the EU capital market by Russia’s central bank, several major banks and key companies. As announced in our briefing of 26 February 2022 on the EU’s second round of Russia sanctions, we will go into more detail on these sanctions in the following.

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Since last night, the EU has adopted further sanctions against Russia. The new restrictions concern the listing of further persons, including Oligarchs with close ties to President Putin, and the aviation sector. The SWIFT de-coupling is not yet legally implemented.

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On 25 February 2022, the European Union (EU) has agreed upon further sanctions against Russia as a reaction to, as the European Council put it, “the Russian Federation’s unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine.”:

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If the Western states stick to their pronouncements of the past few days, the imposition of further sanctions against Russia for invading Ukraine is only a matter of time. The EU has already announced a crisis summit for tonight (24 February 2022), which will lead to a massive tightening of yesterday’s sanctions for Russia’s recognition of independence of Ukrainian’s regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.

The current sanctions regime consists of two layers:

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Am 23. Februar 2022 hat die Europäische Kommission ihren Entwurf für eine Richtlinie über die Nachhaltigkeitspflichten von Unternehmen vorgestellt. Der Entwurf reiht sich in eine Entwicklung ein, in der die Menschenrechts- und Umwelt-Compliance in den Lieferketten von Unternehmen eine stetig bedeutendere Rolle einnimmt. Auf nationaler Ebene ist dessen Ergebnis das Lieferkettensorgfaltspflichtengesetz, das am 1. Januar 2023 in Kraft treten wird. In anderen Mitgliedsstaaten sind solche Gesetze wirksam, wie etwa in Frankreich oder in den Niederlanden seit 2019.

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Aufgrund der sich weiter zuspitzenden Ukraine-Krise müssen sich Unternehmen derzeit dringend mit der Frage befassen, wie sie mit möglichen neuen EU-Sanktionen gegen Russland umgehen werden. Die EU würde im Fall einer russischen Aggression gegen die Ukraine eine ganze Reihe von erheblichen Wirtschafts- und Finanzsanktionen gegen Russland erlassen. Wir haben die fünf konkreten Erstmaßnahmen für Sie zusammengefasst, die Ihr Unternehmen möglichst frühzeitig ergreifen sollte.

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