War in Ukraine: Guidance

Bringing you the latest developments on sanctions and the impact of the war in Ukraine – helping you to prepare, manage and protect your business

The landscape surrounding the situation in Ukraine is moving rapidly.

With the political and economic balance shifting daily, our teams are moving equally fast in supporting clients to understand and manage the obligations and risks that this situation is bringing. This dedicated hub is a space where you will find legal updates, commentary and insights, along with details of our multi-disciplinary legal teams.

We have been advising UK jurisdiction and international clients about the impact of the conflict in Ukraine, including sanctions, managing the commercial and business impacts on commercial contracts (including termination rights, force majeure and frustration as well as other terms which are impacted by the conflict such as price and availability), supply chain issues, trade agreements, financial investments and activities, cyber-attacks and immigration.

What are sanctions?

Sanctions regimes are measures that impose restrictions or prohibitions to fulfil a particular set of purposes that have been set by a government.

Sanctions can be imposed by individual countries (such as those imposed by the US or UK), groups of countries (such as those imposed by the EU) and as a matter of international law by the United Nations.

Sanctions can be arranged geographically (ie targeted against a particular country) or thematically  (ie to limit nuclear weaponry or to target humanitarian issues).

Breaching sanctions laws is serious because it usually results in a significant fine and, in some countries, will constitute a criminal offence.

There are a variety of sanctions that can be put in place and they can have different consequences and effects. Sanctions can include the following, but this list is not exhaustive:

  • Financial sanctions, including:
    • asset freezes on designated organisations and individuals
    • restricting the availability of financial services and international payment systems to sanctioned countries
    • restrictions on dealing with certain organisations and individuals
    • restrictions on dealing with certain types of financial security in relation to organisations connected with the sanctioned country
  • Trade sanctions, which includes bans on the export of particular goods and services such as luxury goods, military use goods and dual-use goods (i.e. goods which could be used in a civilian and military context) to the sanctioned country
  • Travel bans
  • Restrictions on flights and measures to prevent ships connected with the sanctioned country from docking

The sanctions landscape can be dynamic in terms of its scope and effect and can frequently change on short notice.

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