Sanctions Top-5 for the week ending 13 August 2021

Here are five things that happened this week in the world of economic sanctions that I think you should know about.

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  1. The United States, the UK, and Canada announced a fresh round of coordinated Belarus-related sanctions (here, here, and here) on the one-year anniversary of contested Belarusian elections. The US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) named 23 individuals and 21 entities as Specially Designated Nationals (SDNs), while the UK and Canadian governments expanded their sanctions to cover Belarus’ aviation sector, trade in potash, petroleum, and other goods, and dealings in securities and money-market instruments similar to those adopted by the EU in June 2021.


Is it just me, or does the statement from Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs sound a lot like the one made by China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in connection with sanctions against former US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and six others on 23 July 2021? Both emphasize the reciprocal nature of their countermeasures while targeting “a commensurate number” of persons as the UK and US sanctions, respectively. Headline grabbing, but not escalatory.

Speaking of countermeasures, we should have some news this week (possibly today) on whether Hong Kong will get its own Anti-Foreign Sanction Law. Still no word on what the law would include or how it would impact companies. Stay tuned for more on that next week. (In the meantime, some wise words from the very excellent Bridge of Spies.)

Did I miss something? Send me a message or comment on LinkedIn.

(The views expressed are my own and do not constitute legal advice. Photo from Vladislav Reshetnyak.)



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Nicholas Turner

US attorney in Hong Kong specializing in economic sanctions, financial crimes. Sign up for emails: LinkedIn at: