Please note that the information below has been compiled from the sources of the US Department of the Treasury.

What does Executive Order (E.O.) 14024, “Blocking Property with Respect to Specified Harmful Foreign Activities of the Government of the Russian Federation” do?

E.O . 14024 establishes a new national emergency under which sanctions may be imposed against individuals and entities furthering specified harmful foreign activities of the Russian Federation.  This national emergency is separate from the national emergency relating to the crisis in Ukraine, declared in E.O. 13660 and further addressed in E.O.s 13661, 13662, 13685, and 13849.   E.O. 14024 addresses national security threats posed by specified harmful foreign activities of the Russian Federation, including:  its efforts to undermine the conduct of free and fair democratic elections and democratic institutions in the United States and its allies and partners; engaging in and facilitating malicious cyber-enabled activities against the United States and its allies and partners; fostering and using transnational corruption to influence foreign governments; pursuing extraterritorial activities targeting dissidents or journalists; undermining security in countries and regions important to United States national security; and violating well-established principles of international law, including respect for the territorial integrity of states.

Like any other blocking Executive order, E.O. 14024 permits the United States to impose blocking and short-of-blocking sanctions.  The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued several directives under E.O. 14024 specifying certain prohibitions relating to persons determined to be subject to the applicable directive.  OFAC recommends reviewing the sanctions lists maintained by OFAC, including the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN List), the List of Foreign Financial Institutions Subject to Correspondent Account or Payable-Through Account Sanctions (CAPTA List), and the Non-SDN Menu-Based Sanctions List (NS-MBS List), to determine which sanctions are applicable.

 

Are persons identified pursuant to Executive order (E.O.) 13662 as subject to Directive 3 for operating in the defense and related materiel sector of the Russian Federation economy blocked pursuant to the E.O. of April 15, 2021?

Persons identified pursuant to E.O. 13662 as subject to Directive 3 for operating in the defense and related materiel sector of the Russian Federation economy are not subject to prohibitions under the E.O. of April 15, 2021 unless those persons are also sanctioned pursuant to the E.O. of April 15, 2021. 

The E.O. of April 15, 2021 provides for blocking sanctions on persons operating in the technology sector or the defense and related materiel sector of the Russian Federation economy, or any other sectors determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State.  The identification of a sector pursuant to the E.O. of April 15, 2021 provides notice that persons operating in the identified sector are exposed to sanctions risk; however, such identification does not automatically block all persons operating in the sector.  Only persons designated pursuant to the E.O. of April 15, 2021 for operating in the defense and related materiel sector of the Russian economy (or any other sector identified under the E.O.) are subject to blocking sanctions and will appear on the SDN List.

 

What does Directive 1A under Executive Order (E.O.) 14024, “Prohibitions Related to Certain Sovereign Debt of the Russian Federation” (Russia-related Sovereign Debt Directive) do?

Pursuant to the Russia-related Sovereign Debt Directive, the following activities by a U.S. financial institution are prohibited:

1. As of June 14, 2021, participation in the primary market for ruble or non-ruble denominated bonds issued after June 14, 2021 by the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, or the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation;

2. As of June 14, 2021, lending ruble or non-ruble denominated funds to the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, or the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation; and

3. As of March 1, 2022, participation in the secondary market for ruble or non-ruble denominated bonds issued after March 1, 2022 by the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, or the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation.

Further, except to the extent otherwise provided by law or unless authorized by OFAC or exempt, the following are also prohibited pursuant to the Russia-related Sovereign Debt Directive: (1) any transaction that evades or avoids, has the purpose of evading or avoiding, causes a violation of, or attempts to violate any of the prohibitions of the Russia-related Sovereign Debt Directive; and (2) any conspiracy formed to violate any of the prohibitions of the Russia-related Sovereign Debt Directive.

Does Directive 1A under Executive Order (E.O.) 14024, “Prohibitions Related to Certain Sovereign Debt of the Russian Federation” (Russia-related Sovereign Debt Directive) prohibit participation in the secondary market for bonds issued by the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, or the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation?

Yes

Prior to June 14, 2021, are U.S. financial institutions prohibited from participating in the primary market for ruble or non-ruble denominated bonds issued by, or lending ruble or non-ruble denominated funds to, the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, or the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation?

Even prior to June 14, 2021, “U.S. banks” were prohibited from participating in the primary market for non-ruble denominated bonds issued by the Russian sovereign (including the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, and the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation), and from lending non-ruble denominated funds to the Russian sovereign pursuant to the Russia-related Directive under E.O. 13883 (“CBW Act Directive”), which was issued on August 2, 2019 and went into effect on August 26, 2019.  However, the CBW Act Directive does not prohibit “U.S. banks” (as defined in the CBW Act Directive) from participating in the primary market for ruble denominated bonds issued by the Russian sovereign, or the lending of ruble denominated funds to the Russian sovereign.

Pursuant to Directive 1A under Executive Order (E.O.) 14024 , “Prohibitions Related to Certain Sovereign Debt of the Russian Federation” (Russia-related Sovereign Debt Directive), after June 14, 2021, U.S. financial institutions (as defined in the Russia-related Sovereign Debt Directive) are prohibited from participating in the primary market for ruble or non-ruble denominated bonds issued by, or the lending of ruble or non-ruble denominated funds to, the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, or the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation, unless otherwise authorized by OFAC or exempt.  Pursuant to the Russia-related Sovereign Debt Directive, as of March 1, 2022, U.S. financial institutions are also prohibited from participating in the secondary market for ruble or non-ruble denominated bonds issued after March 1, 2022 by these entities.

Note that the prohibitions found in the CBW Act Directive remain in effect and are separate from the prohibitions of the Russia-related Sovereign Debt Directive.

Does the 50 Percent Rule apply to Directive 1A under Executive Order (E.O.) 14024, “Prohibitions Related to Certain Sovereign Debt of the Russian Federation” (Russia-related Sovereign Debt Directive)?

No.  The prohibitions of the Russia-related Sovereign Debt Directive apply only to bonds issued by, or loans made to, the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, or the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation.  The prohibitions of the Russia-related Sovereign Debt Directive do not apply to the property or interests in property of those three entities.

What is the purpose of Executive Order (E.O.) of August 20, 2021, “Blocking Property with Respect to Certain Russian Energy Export Pipelines”?

The Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Act of 2019, 22 U.S.C. 9526 note, as amended (PEESA), requires the imposition of sanctions with respect to the provision of vessels engaged in specified activities for the construction of certain Russian energy export pipelines, including the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, the TurkStream pipeline project, or any project that is a successor to either such project.  E.O. of August 20, 2021, issued under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of State to further implement those sanctions and directs agencies of the United States government to take all appropriate measures within their authority to ensure the full implementation of those sanctions.

Among other things, E.O. of August 20, 2021 enables Treasury to promulgate regulations and provides for blocking of PEESA-designated persons without the exception relating to the importation of goods in Section 7503(e) of PEESA.  All property and interests in property of persons designated pursuant to E.O. of August 20, 2021 that are or come within the United States or the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.  Additionally, entities owned 50 percent or more, individually or in the aggregate, directly or indirectly, by one or more blocked persons are also blocked.

How does Directive 1A under Executive Order (E.O.) 14024, “Prohibitions Related to Certain Sovereign Debt of the Russian Federation” (Russia-related Sovereign Debt Directive) change prohibitions relating to U.S. financial institution dealings in Russian sovereign debt pursuant to Directive 1 under E.O. 14024 of April 15, 2021?

Directive 1 under E.O. 14024 of April 15, 2021 imposed prohibitions on participation in the primary market for ruble or non-ruble denominated bonds issued by, or the lending of ruble or non-ruble denominated funds to, the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, or the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation.  The Russia-related Sovereign Debt Directive replaces and supersedes Directive 1 under E.O. 14024 of April 15, 2021.  It expands upon the existing prohibitions to also prohibit, as of March 1, 2022 , participation in the secondary market for ruble or non-ruble denominated bonds issued by these entities after March 1, 2022. 

The Russia-related Sovereign Debt Directive also includes technical revisions to the definition of “U.S. financial institution” to expand the definition.

What actions did Treasury take in February 2022 related to Russia’s financial services sector pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14024?

Treasury took expansive sanctions actions related to Russia’s financial services sector in February 2022 as detailed below.

• Financial services sector determination.  On February 22, 2022, the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, issued a determination pursuant to E.O. 14024 that authorizes sanctions against persons determined to operate or to have operated in the financial services sector of the Russian Federation economy.

• Correspondent or payable-through account and payment processing prohibitions.  On February 24, 2022, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued Directive 2 under E.O. 14024, “Prohibitions Related to Correspondent or Payable-Through Accounts and Processing of Transactions Involving Certain Foreign Financial Institutions” (Russia-related CAPTA Directive), which prohibits U.S. financial institutions from:  (i) the opening or maintaining of a correspondent account or payable-through account for or on behalf of foreign financial institutions determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive; and (ii) the processing of transactions involving foreign financial institutions determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive.  Annex 1 to the Russia-related CAPTA Directive identifies Public Joint Stock Company Sberbank of Russia and other foreign financial institutions owned 50 percent or more by this bank as subject to these prohibitions, which become effective on March 26, 2022

• Blocking certain Russian financial institutions.  OFAC designated specified Russian financial institutions pursuant to E.O. 14024, including the State Corporation Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs Vnesheconombank (VEB), VTB Bank Public Joint Stock Company, Public Joint Stock Company Bank Financial Corporation Otkritie, Promsvyazbank Public Joint Stock Company, Sovcombank Open Joint Stock Company, Joint Stock Commercial Bank Novikombank, and several of these financial institutions’ subsidiaries.  As a result, all property and interests in property of these entities in the possession or control of U.S. persons, including U.S. financial institutions, or within U.S. jurisdiction, are blocked and must be reported to OFAC.  In addition, all property and interests in property of any entity that is owned, directly or indirectly, individually or in the aggregate, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked.  Accordingly, U.S. persons, including U.S. financial institutions, are prohibited from transacting with these entities unless exempt or authorized by OFAC

• Expanding sovereign debt prohibitions to include the secondary market.  On February 22, 2022, OFAC issued Directive 1A under E.O. 14024, “Prohibitions Related to Certain Sovereign Debt of the Russian Federation” (Russia-related Sovereign Debt Directive), replacing and superseding Directive 1 under E.O. 14024 of April 15, 2021, to extend existing sovereign debt prohibitions to cover participation in the secondary market for ruble or non-ruble denominated bonds issued after March 1, 2022 by the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, or the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation.

• New debt and equity restrictions involving certain Russia-related entities.  On February 24, 2022, OFAC imposed additional debt and equity restrictions involving Russia-related entities by issuing Directive 3 under E.O. 14024, “Prohibitions Related to New Debt and Equity of Certain Russia-related Entities” (Russia-related Entities Directive), to prohibit certain dealings by U.S. persons, or within the United States, in new debt of longer than 14 days maturity or new equity of Russia-related entities determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related Entities Directive.  OFAC determined on February 24, 2022 that the entities listed in Annex 1 to the Russia-related Entities Directive, which include certain major Russian state-owned enterprises and large privately owned financial institutions, are subject to the prohibitions of this directive for new debt or equity issued on or after March 26, 2022.

• General Licenses (GLs).  OFAC issued several Russia-related GLs authorizing certain transactions otherwise prohibited by E.O. 14024

What does Directive 2 under Executive Order (E.O.) 14024, “Prohibitions Related to Correspondent or Payable-Through Accounts and Processing of Transactions Involving Certain Foreign Financial Institutions” (Russia-related CAPTA Directive) prohibit?

The The Russia-related CAPTA Directive prohibits U.S. financial institutions from:  (i) the opening or maintaining of a correspondent account or payable-through account for or on behalf of foreign financial institutions determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive; and (ii) the processing of transactions involving foreign financial institutions determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive.  Please see the Russia-related CAPTA Directive for the definition of the terms “U.S. financial institution” and “foreign financial institution” for purposes of this directive.

Annex 1 to the Russia-related CAPTA Directive lists the foreign financial institutions determined to be subject to the prohibitions as of March 26, 2022.  Foreign financial institutions determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive, including the foreign financial institutions listed in Annex 1, can be found on the Office of Foreign Assets Control’s (OFAC) List of Foreign Financial Institutions Subject to Correspondent Account or Payable-Through Account Sanctions (CAPTA List). Relevant entries on the CAPTA List will denote when a foreign financial institution became subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive, as well as when the prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive come into effect with respect to that foreign financial institution.

The below table identifies the dates the prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive take effect for (i) foreign financial institutions listed in Annex 1 to the Russia-related CAPTA Directive, and (ii) foreign financial institutions otherwise determined to be subject to its prohibitions and added to the CAPTA List.  

 

Foreign Financial Institution Type

Relevant Sanctions Effective Date

Foreign financial institutions listed in Annex 1 to the Russia-related CAPTA Directive

12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time on March 26, 2022

Foreign financial institution otherwise determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive

12:01 a.m. eastern time on the date that is 30 days after the date of such determination

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

U.S. financial institutions must close any correspondent or payable-through account maintained for or on behalf of foreign financial institutions determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive, or their property or interests in property, by the relevant effective date.  Similarly, as of the relevant effective date, U.S. financial institutions may not process transactions involving foreign financial institutions determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive, or their property or interests in property, and must reject such transactions unless exempt or authorized by OFAC.

The Russia-related CAPTA Directive does not impose blocking sanctions and, thus, does not require U.S. financial institutions (or U.S. persons) to block the assets of foreign financial institutions determined to be subject to the prohibitions of this directive.  However, U.S. persons should be aware that foreign financial institutions subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive may also be subject to additional prohibitions under other sanctions authorities, such as additional directives under E.O. 14024  or E.O. 13662.

OFAC issued several Russia-related general licenses (GLs) authorizing certain transactions involving the foreign financial institutions subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive, including:

•   GL 5: authorizing transactions related to the official business of certain international organizations and other entities;

•   GL 6: authorizing transactions related to the exportation or reexportation of agricultural commodities, medicine, medical devices, replacement parts and components, or software updates, or the prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of COVID-19;

•   GL 7: authorizing overflight payments, emergency landings, and air ambulance services;

•  GL 8: authorizing transactions related to energy;

•  GL 9: authorizing transactions related to dealings in certain debt and equity; and

•   GL 10: authorizing certain transactions related to derivative contracts.

What foreign financial institutions are listed in Annex 1 to Directive 2 under Executive Order (E.O.) 14024, “Prohibitions Related to Correspondent or Payable-Through Accounts and Processing of Transactions Involving Certain Foreign Financial Institutions” (Russia-related CAPTA Directive)? 

Annex 1 to the Russia-related CAPTA Directive identifies Public Joint Stock Company Sberbank of Russia as well as many of its foreign financial institution subsidiaries.  The foreign financial institutions listed in Annex 1 have been determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive for operating or having operated in the financial services sector of the Russian Federation economy, or for being foreign financial institutions that are 50 percent or more owned, directly or indirectly, individually or in the aggregate, by one or more foreign financial institutions subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive. 

Does OFAC’s 50 Percent Rule apply to foreign financial institutions listed in Annex 1 to Directive 2 under Executive Order (E.O.) 14024, “Prohibitions Related to Correspondent or Payable-Through Accounts and Processing of Transactions Involving Certain Foreign Financial Institutions” (Russia-related CAPTA Directive)?

Yes.  The prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive apply to any foreign financial institution listed in Annex 1 to the Russia-related CAPTA Directive or otherwise determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive, “or their property or interests in property,” which includes foreign financial institutions 50 percent or more owned, directly or indirectly, individually or in the aggregate, by one or more foreign financial institutions determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive.  As stated in the Russia-related CAPTA Directive, the prohibitions of this directive apply only with respect to a U.S. financial institution’s opening or maintaining of a correspondent account or payable-through account for or on behalf of, or processing of a transaction involving, a “foreign financial institution,” as defined in the Russia-related CAPTA Directive.  Thus, for purposes of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive, the prohibitions of this directive do not apply to non-“foreign financial institutions,” even if those non-“foreign financial institutions” are 50 percent or more owned, directly or indirectly, individually or in the aggregate, by one or more “foreign financial institutions” determined to be subject to this directive.

Are foreign financial institutions (FFIs) located outside of Russia potentially subject to the prohibitions of Directive 2 under Executive Order (E.O.) 14024, “Prohibitions Related to Correspondent or Payable-Through Accounts and Processing of Transactions Involving Certain Foreign Financial Institutions” (Russia-related CAPTA Directive)?

Yes.  The prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive apply to a U.S. financial institution’s opening or maintaining of a correspondent account or payable-through account for or on behalf of, or processing of a transaction involving, any FFI, wherever located outside of the United States, determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive, or their property or interests in property—which includes FFIs 50 percent or more owned, directly or indirectly, individually or in the aggregate, by one or more FFIs determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive.  This includes, for example, banking subsidiaries that are 50 percent or more owned by Public Joint Stock Company Sberbank of Russia and located outside of the United States. 

Are the prohibitions of Directive 2 under Executive Order (E.O.) 14024, “Prohibitions Related to Correspondent or Payable-Through Accounts and Processing of Transactions Involving Certain Foreign Financial Institutions” (Russia-related CAPTA Directive) limited to transactions denominated in U.S. dollars?

No.  The prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive apply with respect to any currency.  For example, a foreign branch of a U.S. financial institution may not open or maintain a correspondent account for or on behalf of, or process a transaction involving, a foreign financial institution determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive, even if that account is denominated in a currency other than U.S. dollars, such as euros. 

Do non-U.S. financial institutions have to comply with the prohibitions of Directive 2 under Executive Order (E.O.) 14024, “Prohibitions Related to Correspondent or Payable-Through Accounts and Processing of Transactions Involving Certain Foreign Financial Institutions” (Russia-related CAPTA Directive)?

Under the Russia-related CAPTA Directive, U.S. financial institutions are prohibited from the opening or maintaining of a correspondent account or payable-through account for or on behalf of, or from processing of a transaction involving, a foreign financial institution determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive.  The term “U.S. financial institution,” as defined in the directive, includes foreign branches of U.S. financial institutions, but not their foreign subsidiaries.  Note, however, that the Russia-related CAPTA Directive prohibits any transaction that evades or avoids, has the purpose of evading or avoiding, causes a violation of, or attempts to violate any of the prohibitions of this directive, as well as any conspiracy formed to violate any of the prohibitions of this directive.  OFAC will not view as “evading or avoiding” efforts by non-U.S. persons to comply with U.S. sanctions by replacing sanctioned suppliers or service providers (including financial institutions) with non-sanctioned persons.

I am a U.S. individual or company that maintains an account at a foreign financial institution sanctioned pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14024.  What are my obligations?

With respect to foreign financial institutions subject to the prohibitions of Directive 2 under E.O. 14024 , “Prohibitions Related to Correspondent or Payable-Through Accounts and Processing of Transactions Involving Certain Foreign Financial Institutions” (Russia-related CAPTA Directive ), including Public Joint Stock Company Sberbank of Russia, obligations under this directive apply to U.S. financial institutions only.  U.S. individuals and companies that are not “U.S. financial institutions,” as defined in the Russia-related CAPTA Directive, are not prohibited from processing transactions involving foreign financial institutions subject to the Russia-related CAPTA Directive. 

With respect to the Russian financial institutions blocked on February 22 and 24, 2022 pursuant to E.O. 14024, General Licenses (GLs) 3 and 11 authorize U.S. persons to engage in transactions ordinarily incident   and necessary to terminate their relationship with specified blocked Russian financial institutions, including withdrawing funds and securities, cancelling letters of credit, and amending or cancelling performance guarantees.  Upon the respective expiration of GLs 3 and 11, U.S. persons are prohibited from transacting with the blocked Russian financial institutions, unless exempt or authorized by OFAC.

What Russian financial institutions were blocked in February 2022 pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14024, and what activities are prohibited as a result?

On February 22, 2022, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated specified Russian financial institutions pursuant to E.O. 14024 , including the State Corporation Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs Vnesheconombank (VEB), Promsvyazbank Public Joint Stock Company, and many of their subsidiaries.  OFAC designated additional Russian financial institutions on February 24, 2022, including VTB Bank Public Joint Stock Company, Public Joint Stock Company Bank Financial Corporation Otkritie (Otkritie), Sovcombank Open Joint Stock Company (Sovcombank), Joint Stock Commercial Bank Novikombank, and many of these financial institutions’ subsidiaries.  As a result, all property and interests in property of these entities in the possession or control of U.S. persons, including U.S. financial institutions, or within U.S. jurisdiction, are blocked and must be reported to OFAC.  In addition, all property and interests in property of any entity that is owned, directly or indirectly, individually or in the aggregate, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked.  Accordingly, U.S. persons, including U.S. financial institutions, are prohibited from transacting with these entities unless exempt or authorized by OFAC. 

OFAC issued several Russia-related general licenses (GLs)  authorizing transactions involving specified blocked Russian financial institutions, including:

•    GL 2 : authorizing certain transactions involving VEB related to servicing obligations of certain Russian sovereign debt;

•    GL  3: authorizing the wind down of certain transactions involving VEB for 30 days;

•    GL  11: authorizing the wind down of certain transactions involving VTB Bank Public Joint Stock Company, Otkritie, and Sovcombank for 30 days; and

•    GL  12: authorizing the rejection (rather than blocking) of certain transactions involving VTB Bank Public Joint Stock Company, Otkritie, and Sovcombank for 30 days.

Note that these GLs do not authorize certain activities with all blocked Russian financial institutions; nor does each GL authorize certain activities with the same group of blocked Russian financial institutions.  For example, the GLs listed above do not authorize any transactions involving Promsvyazbank Public Joint Stock Company or Joint Stock Commercial Bank Novikombank, and GLs 2 and 3  relate only to VEB. 

Other GLs  that may be applicable to one or more of the Russian financial institutions blocked in February 2022 include:

•    GL  5: authorizing transactions related to the official business of certain international organizations and other entities;

•    GL  6: authorizing certain transactions related to the exportation or reexportation of agricultural commodities, medicine, medical devices, replacement parts and components, or software updates, or the prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of COVID-19;

•    GL  7: authorizing overflight payments, emergency landings, and air ambulance services;

•    GL  8: authorizing transactions related to energy;

•    GL  9: authorizing transactions related to dealings in certain debt and equity; and

•    GL  10: authorizing certain transactions related to derivative contracts.

Please consult each GL for further information regarding its scope. 

Additionally, consistent with section 9 of E.O. 14024, transactions for the conduct of the official business of the Federal Government or the United Nations (including its specialized agencies, programs, funds, and related organizations) by employees, grantees, and contractors thereof are exempt from the sanctions prohibitions of E.O. 14024.

 Is there a wind-down period for transactions involving the Russian financial institutions blocked in February 2022 pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14024? What transactions are authorized during the wind-down period? 

For certain Russian financial institutions blocked in February 2022 pursuant to E.O. 14024, a short-term wind-down period is authorized.  General License (GL) 3 authorizes a wind-down period of 30 days for transactions involving State Corporation Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs Vnesheconombank (VEB), and GL 11 authorizes a wind-down period of 30 days for transactions involving VTB Bank Public Joint Stock Company, Public Joint Stock Company Bank Financial Corporation Otkritie, or Sovcombank Open Joint Stock Company.  These authorizations also apply to any entity in which these financial institutions own, directly or indirectly, individually or in the aggregate, a 50 percent or greater interest.

GLs 3 and 11 authorize U.S. persons to engage in transactions ordinarily incident and necessary to exit operations, contracts, or other agreements that were in effect prior to the date of blocking involving the specified blocked Russian financial institutions, provided that such transactions do not involve a debit to a blocked account on the books of a U.S. financial institution. For example, a U.S. financial institution may take steps necessary to collect on outstanding loans made to a blocked person, including exercising rights to any collateral related thereto, as authorized wind-down activity, provided the transaction does not involve a debit to a blocked account on the books of a U.S. financial institution (unless separately authorized).  A U.S. financial institution may also take steps necessary to pay outstanding loans, provided that, if such payment is for the benefit of a blocked person, it must be transferred into a blocked account.  Similarly, a U.S. financial institution may take steps necessary to close a correspondent account maintained for a blocked person; however, funds in the correspondent account may not be returned to the blocked person, and must remain blocked, absent separate authorization from OFAC.

GLs 3 and 11 authorize only new or continued business activities that are ordinarily incident and necessary to wind-down activities.  Wind-down activities do not include the continued processing of funds transfers, securities trades, or other transactions involving a blocked person that were part of ongoing business activities prior to the imposition of sanctions, unless separately authorized (see, e.g., GLs 8, 9, and 10).  Moreover, GLs 3 and 11 do not apply to all Russian financial institutions blocked in February 2022, such as Promsvyazbank Public Joint Stock Company or Joint Stock Commercial Bank Novikombank, or transactions involving other persons blocked pursuant to E.O. 14024, other than the blocked Russian financial institutions specified in GLs 3 and 11.

In addition to GLs 3 and 11, OFAC issued GL 12 to authorize U.S. persons to reject, rather than block, prohibited transactions involving specified blocked Russian financial institutions for 30 days.  This authorizes, for example, a U.S. financial institution to reject, rather than block, an attempted unauthorized funds transfer until the expiration of GL 12.  The authorization provided in GL 3 expires at 12:01 eastern daylight time, March 24, 2022.  The authorizations provided in GLs 11 and 12 expire at 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time, March 26, 2022.

Can a U.S. financial institution process transactions related to energy where a Russian financial institution sanctioned pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14024 is involved? 

General License (GL) 8  authorizes certain transactions “related to energy” (as defined in the GL) involving: (i) certain Russian financial institutions blocked in February 2022; or (ii) foreign financial institutions determined to be subject to Directive 2 under E.O.  14024, “Prohibitions Related to Correspondent or Payable-Through Accounts and Processing of Transactions Involving Certain Foreign Financial Institutions” (Russia-related CAPTA Directive ).  Specifically, GL 8 applies to the following entities (collectively, “Covered Entities”):

•    State Corporation Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs Vnesheconombank (VEB);

•    Public Joint Stock Company Bank Financial Corporation Otkritie;

•    Sovcombank Open Joint Stock Company;

•    Public Joint Stock Company Sberbank of Russia;

•    VTB Bank Public Joint Stock Company; and

•    Any entity owned 50 percent or more, directly or indirectly, individually or in the aggregate, by one of the above entities.

GL 8 does not authorize a U.S. financial institution to maintain (or open) a correspondent account or payable-through account for or on behalf of foreign financial institutions subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive.  Consequently, in order for a U.S. financial institution to engage in transactions authorized by GL 8, all funds transfers related to energy involving one or more Covered Entities must be processed indirectly through a non-sanctioned, non-U.S. financial institution. 

For purposes of assessing whether certain transactions are authorized under GL 8, U.S. persons may rely upon the information available to them in the ordinary course of business, including reasonable reliance on information about the underlying transaction provided by the parties thereto. 

GL 8 is valid until 12:01 eastern daylight time, June 24, 2022 unless renewed.  Persons unable to wind down prohibited transactions with the Covered Entities by June 24, 2022 are encouraged to approach OFAC, which may consider renewing GL 8.

What are transactions “related to energy” for purposes of Russia-related General License (GL) 8?

For the purposes of GL 8,  the term “related to energy” means the extraction, production, refinement, liquefaction, gasification, regasification, conversion, enrichment, fabrication, transport, or purchase of petroleum, including crude oil, lease condensates, unfinished oils, natural gas liquids, petroleum products, natural gas, or other products capable of producing energy, such as coal, wood, or agricultural products used to manufacture biofuels, or uranium in any form, as well as the development, production, generation, transmission, or exchange of power, through any means, including nuclear, thermal, and renewable energy sources.

For transactions authorized under Russia-related General Licenses (GL) 6, 7, or 8 what is an example of a permissible funds transfer involving a foreign financial institution sanctioned pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14024?

GLs 6, 7, and 8  do not authorize a U.S. financial institution to maintain (or open) a correspondent account or payable-through account for or on behalf of entities subject to the prohibitions of Directive 2 under E.O.  14024 , “Prohibitions Related to Correspondent or Payable-Through Accounts and Processing of Transactions Involving Certain Foreign Financial Institutions” (Russia-related CAPTA Directive).  Consequently, in order for a U.S. financial institution to engage in transactions authorized under these GLs (e.g., a funds transfer related to energy), all such funds transfers must be processed indirectly through a non-sanctioned, non-U.S. financial institution.  

Examples of authorized and prohibited funds transfers under GLs 6, 7, and 8 include:

Payment from third-country originator

Authorized payment from third-country originator to beneficiary with an account at a sanctioned institution:

Prohibited payment from third-country originator to beneficiary with an account at a sanctioned institution: 

Payment from U.S. originator

Authorized payment from U.S. originator to beneficiary with an account at a sanctioned institution:

Prohibited payment from U.S. originator to beneficiary with an account at a sanctioned institution: 

In each of the above examples, the underlying funds transfer must be authorized under the applicable GL.
 

I am a U.S. person.  Can I rely on a person sanctioned pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14024 in connection with transactions for official business of an international organization, certain humanitarian-related trade, or the response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic?

Yes, U.S. persons supporting activities undertaken for the official business of certain international organizations or entities, certain humanitarian-related trade, or the response to the COVID-19 pandemic may continue to engage in such activity involving persons sanctioned pursuant to E.O. 14024 through a variety of OFAC authorizations or exemptions, as described below.

Consistent with section 9 of E.O. 14024, transactions for the conduct of the official business of the Federal Government or the United Nations (including its specialized agencies, programs, funds, and related organizations) by employees, grantees, and contractors thereof are exempt from the sanctions prohibitions of E.O. 14024.

Additionally, OFAC has issued General License (GL) 5, authorizing transactions for the conduct of the official business of certain international organizations and entities. 

OFAC also issued GL 6, which authorizes, subject to certain conditions, transactions that are ordinarily incident and necessary to:  (1) the exportation or reexportation of agricultural commodities, medicine, medical devices, replacement parts and components for medical devices, or software updates for medical devices to, from, or transiting the Russian Federation; or (2) the prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of COVID-19 (including research or clinical studies relating to COVID-19).

While certain Russian financial institutions are subject to sanctions under E.O. 14024, the financial services sector of the Russian Federation economy is not comprehensively sanctioned. Accordingly, U.S. persons may also use non-sanctioned Russian financial institutions to process these transactions.

Note that the authorizations and exemptions described above do not extend to prohibitions applied to persons sanctioned pursuant to any other sanctions authorities implemented by OFAC, such as E.O. 13662

Do non-U.S. persons risk being sanctioned for engaging in activity with persons sanctioned pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14024?

OFAC evaluates a range of factors when developing sanctions targets, consistent with foreign policy and national security goals.  In the context of blocking sanctions, non-U.S. persons may be exposed to sanctions risk in relation to activities with persons subject to blocking sanctions pursuant to E.O. 14024.  Under E.O. 14024, non-U.S. persons may be designated if they have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, certain activities, a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 14024, or (in certain circumstances) a blocked government.  Please see sections 1(a)(vi) and 1(b) of E.O. 14024.

Non-U.S. persons generally do not risk exposure to U.S. blocking sanctions under E.O. 14024 for engaging in transactions with persons subject to the prohibitions of the directives under E.O. 14024.  Moreover, non-U.S. persons generally do not risk exposure to U.S. blocking sanctions under E.O. 14024 for engaging in transactions with blocked persons, where those transactions would not require a specific license if engaged in by a U.S. person.  Note, however, that E.O. 14024 and the directives under E.O. 14024 prohibit any transaction that evades or avoids, has the purpose of evading or avoiding, causes a violation of, or attempts to violate any of the prohibitions of those directives, as well as any conspiracy formed to violate any of the prohibitions of those directives.  OFAC will not view as “evading or avoiding” efforts by non-U.S. persons to comply with U.S. sanctions by replacing sanctioned suppliers or service providers (including financial institutions) with non-sanctioned persons.

What does General License (GL) 9 authorize with respect to the debt and equity of certain Russian financial institutions sanctioned pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14024?  What are the implications for U.S. and non-U.S. persons?

General License (GL) 9 authorizes U.S. persons, until 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time May 25, 2022, to engage in transactions prohibited by E.O. 14024 that are ordinarily incident and necessary to dealings in debt or equity issued prior to February 24, 2022 of one or more of the following entities (“covered debt or equity”), provided that any divestment or transfer of, or facilitation of divestment or transfer of, covered debt or equity must be to a non-U.S. person:

•             State Corporation Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs Vnesheconombank (VEB);

•             Public Joint Stock Company Bank Financial Corporation Otkritie;

•             Sovcombank Open Joint Stock Company;

•             Public Joint Stock Company Sberbank of Russia;

•             VTB Bank Public Joint Stock Company; and

•             Any entity owned 50 percent or more, directly or indirectly, individually or in the aggregate, by one of the above entities.

This authorization includes the facilitation, clearing, and settling of transactions ordinarily incident and necessary to divest covered debt or equity to a non-U.S. person, including on behalf of U.S. persons.  Also, as part of a divestment transaction to a non-U.S. person, U.S. persons may engage in purchases of or investment in covered debt or equity if ordinarily incident and necessary to buy to cover a short position in such holdings.

To allow the closing of trades initiated before February 24, 2022, paragraph (b) of GL 9 authorizes all transactions that are ordinarily incident and necessary to facilitating, clearing, and settling trades of covered debt or equity through 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time May 25, 2022, provided such trades were placed prior to 4:00 p.m. eastern standard time on February 24, 2022, including debits to accounts on the books of U.S. financial institutions of certain blocked entities. 

GL 9 does not authorize any transactions involving any persons blocked pursuant to E.O. 14024 other than the entities specified in the GL.  U.S. persons may not sell, or facilitate the sale of, covered debt or equity to blocked persons per the terms of GL 9.  In addition, GL 9 does not authorize U.S. persons to purchase or invest in covered debt or equity other than if necessary to buy to cover, as described above.  GL 9 authorizes transactions in debt or equity issued prior to February 24, 2022 and, thus, does not authorize against prohibitions on new debt or equity, such as those in Directive 3 under E.O. 14024, “Prohibitions Related to New Debt and Equity of Certain Russia-related Entities” (Russia-related Entities Directive).  Please see GL 10 with respect to authorizations related to certain derivative contracts.

For purposes of assessing whether certain transactions are authorized under GL 9 or GL 10, U.S. persons—including financial institutions, registered broker-dealers in securities, securities exchanges, and other market intermediaries and participants—may rely upon the information available to them in the ordinary course of business, including reasonable reliance on information about the underlying transaction provided by the parties thereto. 

Are U.S. funds allowed to buy or sell debt or equity of blocked Russian financial institutions?  Are U.S. investors allowed to invest in a fund that holds debt or equity of a blocked Russian financial institution?

Except as authorized under General License (GL) 9, U.S. persons may not buy or sell debt or equity of the Russian financial institutions blocked in February 2022 pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14024.  Accordingly, a U.S. fund may not buy, sell, or otherwise engage in transactions related to debt or equity of the blocked Russian financial institutions and must block such holdings, unless authorized under GL 9 or otherwise authorized by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) or exempt.  However, a U.S. fund that contains such blocked holdings generally is not itself considered a blocked entity as long as the blocked holdings represent less than a predominant share by value of debt or equity of blocked persons.  As a result, U.S. persons may continue to invest in the fund and the fund may continue to operate.  The fund may divest itself of blocked holdings as authorized under GL 9 or separately authorized by OFAC.

 What actions did the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) take in February 2022 with respect to new debt or equity restrictions pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14024?

In February 2022, OFAC issued two directives under E.O. 14024 regarding restrictions related to new debt or equity involving certain Russian Federation or Russia-related entities:

•             On February 22, 2022, OFAC issued Directive 1A under E.O. 14024, “Prohibitions Related to Certain Sovereign Debt of the Russian Federation” (Russia-related Sovereign Debt Directive), replacing and superseding Directive 1 under E.O. 14024 of April 15, 2021, to extend existing sovereign debt prohibitions to cover participation in the secondary market for ruble and non-ruble denominated bonds issued after March 1, 2022 by the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, or the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation.

•             On February 24, 2022, OFAC issued Directive 3 under E.O. 14024, “Prohibitions Related to New Debt and Equity of Certain Russia-related Entities” (Russia-related Entities Directive) to prohibit all transactions in, provision of financing for, and other dealings in new debt of longer than 14 days maturity or new equity issued on or after 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time, March 26, 2022 by the entities listed in Annex 1 to that directive, or their property or interests in property.  These same prohibitions also apply to any entity subsequently determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related Entities Directive, or its property or interests in property, beginning on or after 12:01 a.m. eastern time on the date that is 30 days after the date of such determination.

Entities determined to be subject to the prohibitions of these directives will be listed on the Non-SDN Menu-Based Sanctions List (NS-MBS List) (in addition to any other applicable sanctions lists maintained by OFAC).  Listings on the NS-MBS List will denote when an entity has been determined to be subject to prohibitions, as well as when the prohibitions come into effect with respect to each entity.

What does Directive 3 under Executive Order (E.O.) 14024, “Prohibitions Related to New Debt and Equity of Certain Russia-related Entities” (Russia-related Entities Directive) prohibit?

The Russia-related Entities Directive prohibits certain dealings by U.S. persons or within the United States in new debt of longer than 14 days maturity or new equity of Russian entities determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the directive or their property or interests in property.  The prohibitions of the Russia-related Entities Directive are effective beginning on 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time, March 26, 2022 for entities listed in Annex 1 to the Russia-related Entities Directive, or their property or interests in property.  For entities subsequently determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related Entities Directive, the prohibitions are effective 12:01 a.m. eastern time 30 days following such determination.

Specifically, the Russia-related Entities Directive prohibits the following activities by U.S. persons or within the United States:  all transactions in, provision of financing for, and other dealings in new debt with a maturity of greater than 14 days or new equity of entities listed in Annex 1 to the Russia-related Entities Directive or otherwise determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related Entities Directive, or their property or interests in property, where such debt or equity is issued on or after the relevant sanctions effective date.  

These prohibitions apply to all new debt with a maturity of greater than 14 days and new equity irrespective of currency denomination.

In addition, the Russia-related Entities Directive prohibits:  (1) any transaction that evades or avoids, has the purpose of evading or avoiding, causes a violation of, or attempts to violate any of the prohibitions of the Russia-related Entities Directive; and (2) any conspiracy formed to violate any of the prohibitions of the Russia-related Entities Directive. 

Some entities determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related Entities Directive may also be subject to prohibitions in other sanctions authorities, such as prohibitions of other directives issued under E.O. 14024, or directives issued under E.O. 13662.  It is important to note that each directive operates independently of the others.  For example, if a transaction involves a person subject to two separate directives, a U.S. person engaging in that transaction must comply with both directives.   

Does the 50 Percent Rule apply to Directive 3 under Executive Order (E.O.) 14024, “Prohibitions Related to New Debt and Equity of Certain Russia-related Entities” (Russia-related Entities Directive)?

Yes.  The prohibitions of the Russia-related Entities Directive apply to any entity listed in Annex 1 to the Russia-related Entities Directive or otherwise determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related Entities Directive, or their property or interests in property, which includes entities 50 percent or more owned, directly or indirectly, individually or in the aggregate, by one or more entities determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related Entities Directive.

What constitutes debt or equity for purposes of Directive 3 under Executive Order (E.O.) 14024, “Prohibitions Related to New Debt and Equity of Certain Russia-related Entities” (Russia-related Entities Directive)?

The term “debt” includes bonds, loans, extensions of credit, loan guarantees, letters of credit, drafts, bankers acceptances, discount notes or bills, or commercial paper.

The term “equity” includes stocks, share issuances, depositary receipts, or any other evidence of title or ownership.

If a U.S. person entered into a revolving credit facility or long-term loan agreement for an entity determined to be subject to Russia-related Directive 3 under Executive Order (E.O.) 14024, “Prohibitions Related to New Debt and Equity of Certain Russia-related Entities” (Russia-related Entities Directive) prior to the relevant sanctions effective date described in the Russia-related Entities Directive, what are the restrictions on drawdowns from that facility?  Do all drawdowns and disbursements pursuant to the parent agreement need to carry repayment terms of 14 days or less?

If a U.S. person entered into a long-term credit facility or loan agreement prior to the relevant sanctions effective date described in the Russia-related Entities Directive, drawdowns and disbursements with repayment terms of 14 days or less are permitted.  In addition, drawdowns and disbursements whose repayment terms exceed 14 days are not prohibited if the terms of such drawdowns and disbursements (including the length of the repayment period, the interest rate applied to the drawdown, and the maximum drawdown amount) were contractually agreed to prior to the relevant sanctions effective date and are not modified on or after the relevant sanctions effective date.  U.S. persons may not deal in a drawdown or disbursement initiated on or after the relevant sanctions effective date with a repayment term that is longer than 14 days if the terms of the drawdown or disbursement were negotiated on or after the relevant sanctions effective date.  Such a newly negotiated drawdown or disbursement would constitute a prohibited extension of credit. 

Does Russia-related Directive 3 under Executive Order (E.O.) 14024, “Prohibitions Related to New Debt and Equity of Certain Russia-related Entities” (Russia-related Entities Directive) prohibit U.S. persons from engaging in all activities with entities subject to it?

No.  The Russia-related Entities Directive prohibits U.S. persons from engaging in only certain activities related to new debt of longer than 14 days maturity or new equity of the entities listed in Annex 1 to the Russia-related Entities Directive, or of entities otherwise determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related Entities Directive.

Some entities determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related Entities Directive may also be subject to additional prohibitions under other sanctions authorities, such as additional directives under E.O. 14024 or E.O. 13662.  It is important to note that each directive operates independently of the others.  For example, if a transaction involves a person subject to two separate directives, a U.S. person engaging in that transaction must comply with both directives. 

Does Russia-related Directive 3 under Executive Order (E.O.) 14024, “Prohibitions Related to New Debt and Equity of Certain Russia-related Entities” (Russia-related Entities Directive) prohibit U.S. persons from engaging in dealings related to debt or equity issued before the relevant sanctions effective date by entities subject to it?

No, so long as the terms of such debt (including the repayment period, the interest rate, and the amount) were contractually agreed to before the relevant sanctions effective date described in the Russia-related Entities Directive  and are not modified on or after the relevant sanctions effective date. As stated, loans, contracts, or other agreements that use London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) as a reference rate that are modified to replace such benchmark reference rate will not be treated as new debt for OFAC sanctions purposes, so long as no other material terms of the loan, contract, or agreement are modified.

Some entities determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related Entities Directive may also be subject to additional prohibitions under other sanctions authorities, such as additional directives under E.O. 14024 or E.O. 13662.  It is important to note that each directive operates independently of the others.  For example, if a transaction involves a person subject to two separate directives, a U.S. person engaging in that transaction must comply with both directives. 

May a debit to an account of a person blocked pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14024 be authorized as a transaction that is ordinarily incident and necessary to a licensed transaction?

An authorization for transactions that are ordinarily incident and necessary to a transaction licensed pursuant to E.O. 14024 does not implicitly authorize a debit to a blocked account on the books of a U.S. financial institution.  Debits to an account on the books of a U.S. financial institution of a blocked person are only authorized as transactions ordinarily incident and necessary to a licensed transaction if such license explicitly authorizes such debits.

For example, General Licenses (GLs) 9 and 10  explicitly state that debits to accounts on the books of a U.S. financial institution of the blocked entities listed in the GLs are authorized to the extent ordinarily incident and necessary to effect the specified transactions authorized therein.  By contrast, GLs 3 and 11 do not explicitly authorize debits to accounts on the books of a U.S. financial institution of the blocked entities.