juin 12 2023

Sanctions Weekly Update – Ukraine/Russia Conflict – June 12, 2023


US Sanctions | EU Sanctions | UK Sanctions | Russia/Ukraine Sanctions | Other Notable Developments 


  • BIS Issues Temporary Denial Order against Defense Conglomerate Supporting Russian Intelligence: On June 9, Matthew S. Axelrod, Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement at the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), issued a Temporary Denial Order (TDO) suspending the export privileges of the Aratos Group, a network of defense-related companies in the Netherlands and Greece, and its president, Nikolaos Bogonikolos. The TDO was issued as part of the efforts by the Disruptive Technology Strike Force co-led by the Justice and Commerce Departments, and a related criminal indictment was issued on May 22, 2023, alleging the Aratos Group of acting as a procurement agent for Russian intelligence services and falsifying documents to evade U.S. export controls.Read more>> and Read more>>
  • U.S. Lawmakers Call on Biden Administration to Punish South Africa over Alleged Support to Russia: On June 13, reports emerged that a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers is asking the Biden administration to punish South Africa for its alleged support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by relocating the 2023 AGOA Forum to another country. In a letter published in The New York Times addressed to State Secretary Antony Blinken, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, the lawmakers opined that South Africa’s alleged “aid” for Russia called into question its eligibility to receive trade benefits from the U.S., and that continuing to host the trade meeting in said country would “serve as an implicit endorsement of [its] damaging support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and possible violation of U.S. sanctions law.” Read more>> and Read more>>
  • Deputy Treasury Secretary Praises Efficacy of Price Cap: On June 15, Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo spoke at the Center for a New American Security on the six-month anniversary of the imposition of the price cap on Russian petroleum products. He stated that the price cap was effective due to a steep drop in oil revenues for the Russian government, and noted that the Treasury Department is not seeing “widespread signs of evasion” of the measure. Read more>> 
  • U.S. Issues Industry Guidance on Iran’s UAV-Related Activities, Mentions Transfers to Russia: On June 9, the Commerce, Justice, State, and Treasury Departments jointly issued an advisory to alert persons and businesses globally to the threat of Iran’s procurement, development, and proliferation of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Specifically, the document mentioned Iran’s UAVs being transferred to Russia en masse since late August 2022, and which are being used extensively to strike critical infrastructure in its war against Ukraine. The U.S. government reminded industries to be vigilant in complying with relevant sanctions and export controls on Iranian UAVs, listing a list of key components and “red flag” recommendations that companies should be aware of when entering into any relevant transactions. Read more>>Read more>> and Read more>>
  • OFAC Issues Fact Sheet on Providing COVID-19 Related Humanitarian Assistance Amid Sanctions: On June 14, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) published a Fact Sheet on the provision of humanitarian assistance and trade to combat COVID-19 despite the current ongoing sanctions programs. Specifically, the Fact Sheet stresses the U.S.’s continuous commitment on ensuring that humanitarian assistance continues to reach at-risk populations through legitimate and transparent channels as countries across the globe fight COVID-19, and provides consolidated guidance highlighting the most relevant exemptions, exceptions, and authorizations under various OFAC-administered sanctions programs. Read more>>
  • Defense Department Announces $2.1 Billion Assistance Package for Ukraine: On June 9, the Department of Defense announced a new security assistance package, provided under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) and valued up to $2.1 billion, to support Ukraine for its war against Russia. The capabilities in this package include additional munitions for Patriot air defense systems, HAWK air defense systems and missiles, 105mm and 203mm artillery rounds, Puma Unmanned Aerial Systems, laser-guided rocket system munitions, and support for training, maintenance, and sustainment activities. Read more>> and Read more>
  • Biden Administration Authorizes 40th Drawdown of Arms for Ukraine: On June 13, the Biden administration announced that it is authorizing its 40th drawdown of U.S. arms and equipment for Ukraine, valued up to $325 million. This security assistance package includes critical air defense capabilities, additional munitions for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, artillery rounds, anti-tank weapons, armored vehicles, and other equipment. Read more>>Read more>> and Read more>>
  • President Biden Continues National Emergency with Respect to Belarus: On June 12, President Biden announced, by way of a presidential action issued on the same day, that he is continuing the national emergency declared in Executive Order (E.O.) 13405 with respect to Belarus for another year. President Biden said that the actions and policies of Belarusian government officials and other persons, such as the undermining of Belarus’s democratic processes, human rights abuses in relation to political repression, public corruption, and oppressive activities related to the fraudulent presidential election in 2020, warranted a need to continue the national emergency beyond June 16, 2023. Read more>>
  • U.S. Funds Economic Survey of Ukraine for Sustainable Recovery: On June 9, the Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Jose W. Fernandez, at the 2023 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Ministerial Council Meeting in Paris, France, announced that the United States is supporting the OECD Country Program for Ukraine by committing $437,000 for its implementation. The OECD country program aims to support Ukraine’s agenda for reform, recovery, and reconstruction, and the U.S. donation will fund an economic survey of Ukraine to identify gaps and prioritized reforms needed to ensure broader recovery efforts. Read more>>
  • USAID Delivers Swift Response to Dam Destruction in Ukraine: On June 8, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced its responses to the humanitarian, environmental, and economic impacts caused by the destruction of the Kakhovka Dam in Ukraine’s Kherson region on June 6, which triggered massive flooding and displaced thousands of Ukrainians. Specifically, USAID mobilized life-saving assistance within hours of the destruction to those impacted, including buses to help with evacuations, fuel vouchers for evacuation volunteers, fuel to support water rescue operations, and emergency relief such as hygiene kits, food, and safe drinking water. Read more>>
  • Defense Secretary’s Call with Ukrainian Minister of Defence: On June 13, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III spoke by phone with Ukrainian Minister of Defence Oleksii Reznikov to discuss priorities for the June 15 Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting in Brussels, Belgium. Secretary Austin provided an update on recent U.S. security support, including the new $325 million package, and Minister Reznikov shared his reflections on the dynamics on the ground in Ukraine. Read more>> and Read more>>
  • US Senators Issue Bill to Seize and Transfer Russian Assets to Ukraine: The top Republican on the US Senate foreign relations committee has introduced legislation authorising President Joe Biden to seize Russian sovereign assets and transfer them to Kyiv for the long-term reconstruction of Ukraine. The bill argues Russia “bears responsibility for the financial burden of the reconstruction of Ukraine” and gives the president the ability to “confiscate” frozen Russian sovereign assets in the US, including Russian central bank assets, so they can quickly be directed to Ukraine. Read more>>


  • Russian Gas Import Ban May Be ‘Considered’ According to European Commission Vice-President: Banning Russian gas exports to Europe might become “a subject for consideration” as the EU is focusing on potentially approving other sanctions against Russia according to the vice-president of the European Commission for interinstitutional relations Maros Sefcovic.Read more>>
  • EU Cuts 5 Chinese Firms from Sanctions List after Beijing Vows to Stop Flow of Military Goods to Russia: The European Union has narrowed the list of mainland China- and Hong Kong-based firms it plans to sanction for funneling banned European goods to the Russian military. Three companies remain on a draft sanctions list, according to several diplomats and officials familiar with the matter. This is down from an initial eight, although the final number is not set in stone. Read more>>
  • The European Retail Group Still Struggling to Ditch Its Russian Owners: Fortenova, Croatia’s largest privately owned company, has tried repeatedly to escape the Kremlin’s orbit, but in vain. Read more>>
  • Dutch Financial Institutions Failing to Freeze Russian Assets, Central Bank Finds: Banks and other financial institutions in the Netherlands have performed significantly below expectations when it comes to freezing assets as required by the sanctions lists released following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Roughly one third of Dutch financial firms are unable to track down and freeze the assets. Read more>>
  • EU Sanctions Reforms to Target Ship-to-Ship Transfers: EU ports could be required to block any vessel that has engaged in ship-to-ship transfers or switched off location transmissions, as part of a proposed crackdown on Russian sanctions evasion. Read more>>
  • Polish State Energy Giant Orlen Explains Increased Russian Oil Imports: Polish state energy giant Orlen has explained why a Czech company it owns has increased purchases of Russian oil this month, despite Poland’s tough stance on achieving energy independence from Moscow. Read more>>
  • EU Expected to Implement Secondary Sanctions: The European Union’s next sanctions package will open a pandora’s box of secondary sanctions unless the EU puts up some guardrails. Decisions taken today on the EU’s sanctions strategy will shape the path of EU foreign policy beyond Russia’s war on Ukraine, including the role of sanctions in the competition between the United States and China. Read more>>
  • Commission Approves EUR 8 Million Bulgarian Scheme to Support Agricultural Producers in the Context of Russia's War against Ukraine: The European Commission has approved an approximately EUR 8 million (BGN 16 million) scheme to support primary agricultural production sector in the context of Russia's war against Ukraine. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework. Read more>>
  • Commission Approves EUR 31 million Croatian Scheme to Support Livestock and Crops Production Sectors in the Context of Russia's War against Ukraine: The European Commission has approved an approximately EUR 31 million Croatian scheme to support livestock and crop production sectors in the context of Russia's war against Ukraine. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework. Read more>>


  • UK Court Rejects Mazepin Interim Relief Application: On June 9, 2023, it was reported that Russian racing driver Nikita Mazepin lost an application seeking to suspend some of the effects of UK sanctions on him. The High Court found that the balance of evidence weighed against granting interim relief; Mr Mazepin had wanted sanctions suspended so he could travel to the UK and begin negotiations with Formula 1 teams. Nikita Mazepin’s father, Dmitry Mazepin, is also subject to the sanction because of his alleged ties with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.Read more>>
  • General Licence INT/2022/2305324 Revoked: On June 14, 2023, the Office of Financial Sanction Implementation revoked General Licence (GL) INT/2022/2305324 ‘Securing Energy for Europe’. The nationalisation of Gazprom Germania (renamed Securing Energy for Europe), means that Gazprom’s UK subsidiaries are no longer in scope of the credit restrictions introduced by The Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) (Amendment) (No. 15) Regulations 2022. Read more>>
  • OFSI Updates the Oil Price Cap Guidance: On June 14, 2023, the Office of Financial Sanction Implementation published updated guidance for the Maritime Services Ban and Oil Price Cap, to provide additional clarity and detail on: 
    • Wind-down periods: OFSI will introduce a 45-day wind-down period for any future changes to the Oil Price Cap;
    • Trading in Derivatives and Futures: Trading in derivatives and futures is now exempt from the Oil Price Cap; and 
    • As soon as reasonably practicable”: Clarification has been added on OFSI’s view of what is considered to be taking the required steps to withdraw contracted services “as soon as reasonably practicable” in the event of a suspected breach. Read more>>
  • OFSI General Licence INT/2023/3074680: On June 14, 2023, the Office of Financial Sanction Implementation issued GL reference INT/2023/3074680,” Oil Price Cap: Trading in Derivatives and Futures” and updated the associated publication notice. Under regulation 64 of the Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 the GL permits trading in derivatives and futures related to the supply or delivery by ship of Russian oil and oil products which would otherwise breach the prohibition in regulation 46Z9C of the Russia Regulations. A ‘Derivatives Broker’ may provide services to any Person trading in Derivatives and Futures and a ‘Relevant Institution’ may process payments in relation to the permitted activities. Read more>> and Read more>>


  • Western Companies Net $13Bln in Profits after Remaining in Russia: On June 9, 2023, it was reported that one hundred of the biggest Western companies still operating in Russia posted net profits totalling 1.1 trillion rubles ($13.3 billion) in 2022. The results, based on the financial statements of Russian-registered legal entities that are fully or partially foreign-owned, mark a 54% increase from 2021. Read more>>
  • Russian Gasoline Exports Up in 2023 Despite Sanctions: On June 9, 2023, it was reported that Russian oil companies have exported 37% more gasoline in 2023. Russia exported about 2 million tons of gasoline in January-March, up from around 1.5 million tons in the first quarter of 2022. With gas price increases and shortages on the domestic market, Russian authorities were also considering banning gasoline exports altogether. Read more>>
  • Russia Talks about Continuing with Black Sea Grain Initiative: On June 10, 2023, it was reported that Rebecca Greenspan, secretary-general of the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development, held discussions with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin about Russia’s continued participation in the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which facilitates the export of Ukrainian grain and other agricultural products from Back Sea ports. The initial 120-day grain agreement has been extended several times, most recently in May 2023. Read more>>
  • Russian Exports Shift to Ageing Oil Tankers to Carry Crude: On June 10, 2023, it was reported that Russian oil exporters have almost doubled their use of ageing ships since the start of the Ukraine war, raising concerns in the shipping industry that workers and the environment are being put at risk by vessels that belong on scrap heaps. The share of seaborne exports of Urals — Russia’s main crude blend — carried on ships more than 15 years old has surged since the war began, according to figures from shipbroker Braemar. In the six months in the run-up to the conflict, the average share carried by older ships was 33.6 per cent. Since December 2022, the share has been 62.6 per cent. Read more>>
  • Kremlin Unveils Windfall Tax to Raise Rbs300bn from Oligarchs: On June 13, 2023, it was reported that Russia has unveiled a windfall tax on big companies to raise an estimated Rbs300bn ($3.6bn) from its oligarchs, as the war in Ukraine continues to stretch the Kremlin’s finances. The proposed levy, outlined in a draft bill will require Russian groups making profits of more than Rbs1bn a year since 2021 to pay a one-off tax worth up to 10 per cent of the gains. Read more>>
  • Putin Signs a Law on State Regulation of the Tobacco Market: On June 13, 2023, it was reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law on comprehensive regulation of the tobacco market. The document, which regulates the production, circulation and import of tobacco and nicotine-containing products into the country. The law, which comes into force on September 1, 2023, provides for licensing activities in the field of tobacco production and circulation, establishes requirements for equipment for the production of such products, and also provides for the regulation of turnover using the Honest Mark labelling system. Read more>> and Read more>>
  • VTB to Sell One of Russia's Biggest Grain Traders: On June 13, 2023, it was reported that VTB CEO will sell its stake in one of Russia's biggest grain traders, Demetra-Holding, and is in negotiations with both Russian and foreign buyers. Demetra has a network of grain elevators, major deep sea grain terminals and its own logistics. It owns a non-controlling stake in major grain trader United Grain Company. Read more>>
  • Russia Moves to Seize ‘Naughty’ Western Companies: On June 15, 2023, it was reported that the Kremlin ordered legislation to enable western assets to be appropriated at knockdown prices and is discussing even more draconian measures to fully nationalise groups. It was reported that Vladimir Putin’s economic team want the threat of nationalisation to be part of a carrot-and-stick approach aimed at punishing western countries that seize Russian assets while rewarding those that play by the Kremlin’s rules. The decree would give the Russian state priority rights to buy any western asset for sale at a “significant discount” so they could be sold at a profit. Read more>>
  • Russia's Quantum Patent Applications Decline Amid Sanctions: On June 15, 2023, it was reported that fewer patent applications in the field of quantum technologies were filed in Russia in 2022. Quantum computing is an emerging technology that seeks to solve problems too complex for conventional computers. The number of patent applications related to quantum technologies in Russia dropped to 16 in 2022 from 28 in 2021. Read more>>
  • Putin's Economic Forum Falls Flat: Russia's Isolation Triggers Global Economic Exodus: On June 15, 2023, it was reported that Vladimir Putin's signature economic forum in St. Petersburg suffered from poor turnout, which is seen by many as another indication that Russia's conflict with Ukraine is isolating it from the global economy. In previous years, the event had attracted prominent figures such as French President Emmanuel Macron and former German Chancellor Angela Merkel. However, these figures were noticeably absent from the June 2023 event, and even countries that were once part of the Soviet Union chose not to attend. Read more>>
  • Ukraine Expands Sanctions Lists: On 11 June 2023 Ukraine added 178 individuals to the sanctions list. The amendments were implemented by the Order of the President of Ukraine, which entered into force on 13 June. One of the sanctioned individuals is Valery Zorkin, chairman of Russia’s Constitutional Court. On Sept. 30, 2022, Russia's Constitutional Court approved the illegal annexation of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia oblasts. Read more>> and Read more>>
  • National Bank of Ukraine Keeps Discount Rate at 25%: The National Bank of Ukraine noted that the growth rate of consumer prices continued to decline faster than expected. In May, inflation slowed to 15.3% in annual terms. "This will contribute to maintaining the attractiveness of hryvnia instruments, preserving the stability of the foreign exchange market and reducing inflation" said the head of the National Bank, Andrii Pishniy. Read more>>
  • Ukrainian Ministry of Economy States Economic Recovery in Ukraine Was Faster than Expected: Compared to the last quarter of 2022, Ukraine's gross domestic product (GDP) experienced a 2.4% increase in the first three months of 2023, the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine reported on June 9. This result was significantly better than the previously expected 14.1% drop. "This data indicates that the economy of Ukraine is adapting and recovering at a faster pace than previously predicted" said the Minister of Economy Yuliia Svyrydenko. Read more>>
  • Ukrainian Parliament Adopts New Law on the Protection of Consumer Rights: The purpose of the law is to harmonize Ukrainian legislation with European standards. The law will apply both to food and non-food products and will bring several novelties in the consumer protection legislation, in particular, in the sphere of digital trade and e-commerce. Read more>>
  • Shareholder of Ukrainian Sens Bank (Former Alfa-Bank Ukraine) Wants to Sell His Share for $1: The nominal owner of the shares of "Sens Bank" (until December 2022 - "Alfa Bank") ABH Holdings SA, which holds the shares in the name of a sanctioned shareholder, offers to sell 75.6% of the financial institution to an international investor for $1. "Sens" is the tenth-largest bank in Ukraine by assets, serving almost 3 million Ukrainians. It is reported that Ukraine plans to nationalize Sens Bank. Read more>> and Read more>>
  • Russia Confirms Plans to Hold Elections in Occupied Ukrainian Territories: Russia's central election commission has confirmed plans to hold so-called elections in four Ukrainian regions that Moscow claims to have annexed while having only partial control over them. The commission set the election date for Sept. 10. On May 29, Vladimir Putin signed a law allowing regional elections to be held in the occupied territories of Ukraine. Read more>>
  • G7 to Combat Russia's Theft of Ukrainian Grain: The members of the Group of Seven (G7) are preparing a plan to combat the theft of Ukrainian grain by Russia, according to the U.K. Minister of State for Food, Farming, and Fisheries Mark Spencer. The scheme will involve using chemical identification of the grain's origin, the minister explained. Ukrainian officials have repeatedly accused Russian forces of stealing grain from the occupied territories since last year. Read more>>
  • Venice Commission Advises Ukraine to Postpone Anti-Oligarch Law: The Venice Commission, an advisory body to the Council of Europe, has recommended that Ukraine postpone the implementation of the anti-oligarch law until the war ends, Justice Minister Denys Maliuska said on June 9. The commission argued that the Russian invasion had already reduced the influence of oligarchs in Ukraine due to the destruction of their enterprises, among other reasons. The European Commission presented the implementation of the law as a condition for Ukraine to join the EU. Read more>>
  • 32 Countries Join Ukraine's Genocide Lawsuit against Russia: The majority of the judges at the United Nations' International Court of Justice (ICJ) have authorized the inclusion of 32 countries in Ukraine's genocide lawsuit against Russia, the ICJ announced on June 9. The list includes 26 countries of the European Union, excluding only Hungary, as well as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Norway, Liechtenstein, and the U.K. Read more>>
  • Russian Authorities Maintaining Secret List of People ‘Affiliated’ with ‘Foreign Agents’: The size of the registry, which is legally closed to the public, was disclosed in a report by the State Duma’s Committee on Foreign Interference published Thursday. The committee’s report states that 861 people were included in the Justice Ministry’s list of "persons affiliated with foreign agents” by December 2022. Read more>>
  • Russia Risks Return to Planned Economy – Central Bank: Russian Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina warned Thursday that Russia is at risk of reverting to a planned economic system as it grapples with restructuring challenges driven by soaring war expenses and unprecedented Western sanctions. “The temptation to manage economic restructuring can lead to [a situation] where we suppress private initiative [by businesses], not to mention the risk of restoring a planned economy,” Nabiullina said during a session at the annual St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. Read more>>
  • Putin Promises Russian Assistance to Cuba to Fight ‘Illegal’ Sanctions: Russia will do everything to help Cuba overcome "illegal sanctions," President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with Cuban Prime Minister Manuel Marrero in Moscow. Marrero, in turn, stressed that Cuba opposes Western sanctions against Moscow. The country does not support the desire of the West to isolate Russia in international organizations. Read more>>
  • Russian Government Proposes to Limit the Import of Foreign Seeds: Deputy Prime Minister Victoria Abramchenko confirmed that the Russian government is considering introducing quotas for the import of foreign seeds to Russia. She added that a decision on the issue can be made soon. According to the indicators approved in the Doctrine of Food Safety, the share of domestic seeds in the domestic market should be at least 75% - this figure has not yet been reached, noted in January 2023 the head of the Ministry of Agriculture Dmitry Patrushev. Read more>>


  • Canada Imposes Additional Sanctions on Russia Targeting Destruction of Ukraine’s Cultural Sites: On June 10, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Mélanie Joly announced that the Canadian government is imposing additional sanctions against 24 individuals and 17 entities in Ukraine in direct response to Russia’s attempts to destroy Ukraine’s cultural sites, institutions, and identity. Persons sanctioned are those connected to Russia’s theft of Ukrainian cultural objects to counter the Kremlin’s efforts to “Russify” Ukraine’s culture, and include Ukrainians who work at museums and other cultural centres who collaborate with Russia, newly created entities in temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, and individuals and entities related to private military companies that originated in Ukraine and are fighting for Russia. Read more>>
  • Canada Orders Seizure of Russian Aircraft Grounded in Airport: On June 10, the Canadian government ordered the seizure of a Russian aircraft that has been grounded at Toronto Pearson International Airport for over 15 months since Canada banned Russian aircrafts from entering its airspace in February 2022, according to reports. The planned seizure of the Antonov 124 was announced as a direct response to Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine, and as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a surprise visit to Kyiv. The plane was believed to be owned by a subsidiary of Volga-Dnepr Airlines LLC and Volga-Dnepr Group, both of which are under sanctions by Canada. Read more>> and Read more>>
  • Investigation Reveals Chinese Parts Help Iran Expedite Drones Supply to Russia: On June 12, The Wall Street Journal reported that Chinese parts have continued to flow to Iran and provide the building blocks for its drone program despite pressure from the U.S. to choke off the global supply chain, according to Western researchers investigating an Iranian drone brought down by Ukrainian forces in April. The said investigation revealed that Chinese-made parts in the drone are only manufactured in mid-January of 2023, demonstrating how Iran is able to quickly build and ship drones to Russia in merely three months. Read more>>
  • Concerns of Further Military Aid Loom as North Korea-Russia Ties Deepen: On June 12, North Korea’s President Kim Jong-un, in a message to Moscow on Russia’s national day, vowed to “[hold] hands firmly” with President Putin and bolster “closer strategic cooperation” between the two nations, according to reports. A U.S. State Department spokesperson voiced the U.S.’s concern that North Korea is planning to deliver more weapons to Russia. Despite Pyongyang’s denials that it had sold weapons to Russia for its war in Ukraine, the U.S. had confirmed that the country had completed an arms delivery, including infantry rockets and missiles, to Russia’s Wagner group last November. Read more>> and Read more>>
  • Japan Refutes Russia’s Claims over Aid to Ukraine: On June 12, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno Hirokazu said the Japanese government has dismissed Russian claims about Tokyo’s decision to supply Ukraine with defense equipment, according to reports. Specifically, according to the Secretary, the Japanese ambassador to Moscow Kozuki Toyohisa had expressed his disagreement with Russia’s claim that supplying equipment to Ukraine “would lead to an escalation of hostile acts and more casualties,” and had reiterated that it was Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that invited the current circumstances. Matsuno stressed that Japan will continue tough sanctions against Russia and strong support for Ukraine. Read more>> and Read more>>
  • Swiss Government Sites Hacked by Pro-Russian Group over Adoption of EU Sanctions: On June 13, it was reported that Switzerland’s major websites, including government websites for parliament and the federal administration, and the website for Geneva Airport, have been met with intensified cyberattacks by the NoName group. The pro-Russian hacker group claimed to have carried out the attacks in response to Switzerland’s adoption of another EU sanctions package against Russia, according to reports. Read more>>
  • Data Shows Swiss Micro-Electronic Components Being Directly Exported to Russia: On June 15, media reports revealed that micro-electronic goods identified by Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) as civilian and military “dual-use” goods, such as capacitors, processors, and controllers, have been directly exported to Russia for around CHF250,000 ($276,000) since the beginning of the Ukraine war. According to SECO, Putin’s military uses these components to build cruise missiles, rockets, and drones. The U.S. had previously identified Swiss-originating components in weapons seized on the Ukraine battlefield. Read more>>
  • Australia Passes Law to Stop Russia from Building New Embassy Near Parliament: On June 15, Australia’s Parliament passed a new emergency legislation to prevent Russia from building a new embassy near Parliament House, citing threats of espionage and political interference, according to reports. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the legislation would extinguish Russia’s current lease on the site of a second embassy, based on “very clear security advice as to the risk presented.” The law is expected to take effect once rubber-stamped by Governor-General David Hurley. Read more>> and Read more>>
  • Oreo-Maker Mondelez Faces Nordic Backlash over Russia Business: On June 12, Reuters reported that Mondelez International, global snack maker and producer of Oreo and Toblerone, is facing widespread corporate boycott in the Nordic region over its continued presence in Russia. Unlike other Western companies that sold their Russian assets after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, the company has stayed despite pushback from employees in other companies, leading to an announcement earlier this year by Ukraine’s National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption to blacklist the snack maker, which many Nordic companies followed suit. Read more>>

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