Five types of Russian companies targeted by Western sanctions

Five types of Russian companies targeted by Western sanctions

This reference guide explains which Russian entities have been targeted by Western sanctions and analyzes the intended effects of these measures.

The EU, US and a handful of other countries have imposed sanctions on a number of Russian entities in retaliation for Russia’s role in Ukraine as the situation there has evolved over the past several months. In the interest of applying pressure in multiple directions, the international community has imposed sanctions on five distinct types of companies:

1) Companies owned by Putin’s so-called “inner circle” or “friends” (Gennady Timchenko, Rotenberg brothers, Yury Kovalchuk, etc.): Restrictions create pressure on a personal level vis-à-vis the president. These companies are sanctioned mainly by the US.

2) Defence companies: Restrictions curb the modernization of Russian armed forces while stifling arms exports and technological development.

3) Oil and gas companies: Sanctions create pressure on government finances since the O&G sector provides 68% of export sales and 50% of Russia’s budget revenue. Restrictions also will deplete the Central Bank’s reserves and national sovereign funds, and will lead to a long-term decrease in natural resources extraction.

4) Systemic banks: Sanctions create a deficit of credit finance and hamper wider economic growth across all sectors.

5) Crimean companies confiscated by the new authorities (mainly wine producers, transport companies and developers of Crimean oilfields): Restrictions create pressure on a local basis and condemn expropriation activities. These companies are sanctioned mainly by the EU.


Background on the situation in Ukraine

Video content courtesy of The Three Minute Post.


List of sanctioned Russian companies as of September 21, 2014


* Blocked entities (asset freeze and prohibition on any transactions)

** Sectoral sanctions (restricted access to capital markets)

*** Export control (restricted access to dual-use goods and military technology)


Legal basis

US Ukraine-related sanctions have been imposed by the following executive orders:

  • O. 13660 (March 6, 2014) authorizes sanctions against officials of the former Ukrainian government and persons engaged in or supporting separatist activities.
  • O. 13661 (March 16, 2014) authorizes sanctions against Russian defence companies and certain Russian government officials.
  • O. 13662 (March 20, 2014) authorizes sanctions against Russian companies in certain sectors of the Russian economy.

Specific prohibitions (blocked entities and sectoral sanctions) have been implemented by US Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

EU Ukraine-related sanctions have been imposed by the following regulations of the Council of the European Union:

Additional Ukraine-related sanctions were imposed by Australia, Canada, Japan and Norway, which for the most part follow the US and EU restrictive measures. Switzerland also introduced measures to prevent the circumvention of international sanctions against Russia.

Sources: US Treasury; Council of the European Union; author’s data

Categories: Economics, International

About Author

Alexey Kobylyanskiy

Alexey Kobylyanskiy currently works for a leading Russian mining company. He previously worked for the political risk insurance arm of the World Bank. He also has experience working for Russian regional government bodies and as an international election observer during the 2010 presidential elections in Ukraine. Alexey holds an MA in International Political Economy from Fordham University and an MA in International Relations from St. Petersburg State University, Russia.