On 6 March President Obama issued an Executive Order (EO) imposing sanctions in connection with the evolving situation in Ukraine. The new sanctions are aimed at maintaining peace, stability and democracy in Ukraine, and authorize imposition of harsh penalties on those who violate the beleaguered country’s territorial integrity.
Among other things, the sanctions target anyone who:
• asserts governmental authority in the Crimean region without the authorization of the Ukrainian government;
• threatens Ukraine’s peace, security, stability, sovereignty, and territorial integrity; or
• contributes to the misappropriation of Ukraine’s assets.
The EO authorizes blocking of assets of persons deemed to be “responsible for or complicit in, or to have engaged in, directly or indirectly”:
• actions or policies that undermine the democratic process or institutions in Ukraine;
• actions or policies that threaten the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine; or
• misappropriation of state assets of Ukraine or of an economically significant entity in Ukraine.
Most strikingly, the EO authorizes imposition of sanctions on persons found:
• to have asserted governmental authority over any part or region of Ukraine without the authorization of the Ukrainian government; or
• to be a leader of an entity that has, or whose members have, engaged in the foregoing activity.
Finally, the EO calls for persons designated for sanctions to be denied entry into the United States, stating that their entry into the US would be “detrimental to the interests of the United States”.
There seems little doubt but that these new US sanctions will significantly impact developments in Ukraine going forward, and add another layer of complexity to those with business interests in the region. Further sanctions remain a distinct possibility.