The Measures Russia Took to Respond to The Sanctions

Blog / The Measures Russia Took to Respond to The Sanctions

Russia became the world's most sanctioned country, surpassing Iran and North Korea following the Russo-Ukrainian war. According to Castellum.AI, Russia has been subjected to over 5,000 sanctions (2,778 of them were issued after February 22nd). It took ten years for the Western countries to sanction Iran the same amount they did to Russia after February 22nd. There are some measures the Russian government took to respond to the sanctions.

The leaders of the EU countries agreed to new sanctions onRussia, which launched military action against Ukraine. The content of the sanctions package includes wide-ranging restrictions, especially economic ones. The sanctions cover export prohibition, financial sector restriction, transportation, energy, and visa restrictions.

The EU Has Imposed Sanctions on Vladimir Putin and Sergey Lavrov

On February 25, 2022, the EU decided to freeze the assets of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. In addition, the EU has imposed restrictive measures on the members of the National Security Council of the Russian Federation and the remaining members of the Russian State Duma who support Russia's recognition of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk "republics."

The Council also reached an agreement on a package of economic and individual restrictive measures to respond to the unjustified military aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine. These sanctions cover the following sectors:

  • Financing
  • Energy
  • Transport
  • Technology
  • Visa policy

These resolutions rapidly implement the Council of Europe resolutions of 24 February and demonstrate the unity and determination of the European Union, together with international allies and partners, to defend the peace order and international law.

On February 23, 2022, the Council agreed on the first package of sanctions in response to Russia's recognition of the non-government districts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts in Ukraine as independent entities.


Asset Freezes and Travel Restrictions

Fifty-two organizations and 654 persons were subjected to asset freezes and travel bans because their actions undermined Ukraine's territorial integrity, sovereignty, and independence. The lists of sanctionedorganizations and persons are constantly reviewed and periodically updated by the Council.

March March 2014, these measures were implemented, and the most recent decision was extended to March 15, 2022.

Restrictions on economic relations with the Crimea and Sevastopol

It adopted restrictive measures in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by the Russian Federation by decisions taken at the Council of the European Union.

The measures apply to EU citizens and EU-based companies. Their scope is limited to the Crimea and the Sevastopol region.

These measures include: 

  • prohibition of import of goods
  • trade and investment restrictions related to particular economic sectors and infrastructure projects
  • prohibition of the provision of tourism services
  • prohibition of the export of certain goods and technologies

On June 21, 2021, the Council extended these measures taken until June 23, 2022.

Economic Sanctions Aimed at Exchanging with Russia in Certain Economic Sectors

September July and September 2014, the EU imposed economic sanctions aimed at exchanges with Russia in certain economic sectors.

In December March 2015, EU leaders decided to adopt the current sanctions regime to fully implement the Minsk agreements scheduled for the end of December 2015. However, because this council did not take place, it had extended the economic sanctions until July 31, 2016.

July 1, 2016, economic sanctions have been extended for six consecutive months Dec.

The decision to extend them was taken each time after assessing the implementation of the Minsk agreements. As a result, economicsanctions have already been extended until July 31, 2022.

These restrictive measures:

  • Limiting access to the EU primary and secondary capital markets for certain Russian banks and companies
  • Imposing an export and import ban on the arms trade
  • Imposing an export ban on dual-use goods for military use or military end-users in Russia
  • Implement an export ban on goods and technology in the aerospace industry
  • Restricting Russia's access to certain sensitive technologies and services that can be used for oil production and exploration

On February 23, 2022, the Council decided to impose a sectoral ban on the financing of the Russian Federation, its government, and the Central Bank. The EU seeks to limit the financing of escalating and aggressive policies by restricting the ability of the Russian state to access the European Union's capital and financial markets and services.

Measures on Economic Cooperation

EU leaders introduced restrictions on economic cooperation in July 2014:  

  • The European Investment Bank (EIB) has been asked to suspend the signing of new financing operations in the Russian Federation 
  • The EU member states have agreed to coordinate their positions within the Board of Directors of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in order to suspend the financing of new operations.
  • The implementation of the EU's bilateral and regional cooperation programs with Russia has been re-evaluated, and some programs have been suspended.

In addition to the human cost of the Russia-Ukraine war, there were also significant consequences for AML

Message From EU Leaders

EU leaders delivered 'unity and determination' messages before entering the meeting.

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said that EU sanctions should be "painful" and as advanced as possible. Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa stated that a ban on flights in the airspace should be imposed so that Ukraine can defend itself, and NATO can do this.

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said that Russian President Vladimir Putin is "not a leader to be negotiated with" but still hopes that diplomacy will be used.

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausea also said, "We don't have the luxury of being an international discussion club. We have to take action." said. Nausea, who wants Ukraine to be granted EU candidacy status, said that they should be much more determined towards Russia today, drawing lessons from the past.

Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel said that "sanctions will also cost Europe dearly," adding: "But peace has a price."

"There is no need for cheap speeches anymore," said Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, calling for very heavy sanctions on Russia. Emphasizing that the eastern flank of NATO urgently needs to be strengthened, Morawiecki said: "We are buying gas from Russia, we are buying oil. Putin is taking money from us and turning it into aggression. We have to stop it," he said. "At the moment, the whole world is looking at what we are going to do," Morawiecki said, stressing that the decisions that the EU will make these days are of historical importance for Europe.

The EU Commission building was illuminated with the colors of the Ukrainian flag in solidarity with Ukraine ahead of the EU Leaders Summit. In addition, the yellow and blue colors of the flag were projected onto the building.

Measures Russia Took as a Response

Export Ban Of Goods

Technological, communication, medical equipment, agricultural machinery, electrical equipment, and vehicles are on the top of the list. The measure is expected to affect every country but the members of the Euroasian Economic Union (Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan). 

Janis Kluge of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs said Russia is banning the export of technological equipment because the officials know they'll be quite rare in the future.

Wheat And Agricultural Products

Russia also banned exporting wheat and some agricultural products to the members of the Eurasian Economic Union until August.

Raw Materials

The government announced banning exporting timber to the Unfriendly Countries list. The list includes:

Unfriendly Countries
BulgariaRepublic of CyprusCroatia
EstoniaCzech RepublicDenmark
The USAUkraineCanada
MonacoThe UKMontenegro
AndorraNorwaySan Marino
North MacedoniaJapanSouth Korea
New ZelandTaiwanSingapore

Timber was the only raw source Russia banned exporting. Exports make up 30% of the GDP of Russia, and raw materials such as oil and gas make up 60% of all Russia's overseas sales. 

Foreign Currency Sales

The Russian government announced that Russia had banned foreign currency sales until September 9th, following the Ruble's crash. Russians who have existing foreign currency accounts will be allowed to withdraw up to 10,000 USD.

Additional Measures

Putin announced Russia might seize the assets of foreign companies stopping their operations in Russia to protect local workers and suppliers. Here, you can see that the foreign companies stopped or limited their operations in Russia.

The Russian government also announced they are considering letting domestic airlines take ownership of their leased planes worth about 10 Billion USD. The planes might be used as spare parts since Boeing and Airbus suspended their operations in the country. 

Russia bans Meta Platforms and Twitter, accusing the platforms of spreading fake news and hate speech toward the Russian Army.

Russia froze the assests of more than 10 US officials and banned them from entering the country. Some of the important people Russia sanctioned:

  • Joe Biden
  •  Hillary Clinton
  • Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley
  • National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan
  • President of the Export-Import Bank of the US Reta Jo Lewis
  • Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo
  • US Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Samantha Power
  • Deputy National Security Adviser Daleep Singh

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