President Biden Announces Additional Sanctions and Export Controls on Russia

By: Olga Torres and Derrick Kyle
Date: 02/23/2024

Today, on the brink of the two-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, President Biden announced additional sanctions and export controls against Russia and entities in third countries that have supported the Russian war effort. The February 23 Statement describes that the 500 new sanctions against Russia are “for its ongoing war of conquest on Ukraine and for the death of Aleksey Navalny,” the Russian opposition leader and anti-corruption activist that suspiciously died in a Russian prison on February 16.

Economic Sanctions

As described in its press release, the Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) has imposed economic sanctions that target Russia’s financial sector and defense industrial base as well as procurement networks and sanctions evaders in multiple countries. The new OFAC sanctions are applicable to nearly 300 individuals and entities. Sanctioned Russian entities include those involved in weapons production, additive manufacturing, machine tools, semiconductors, industrial chemicals, aerospace, logistics, and cargo transportation, among others. Non-Russian entities sanctioned for evasion and circumvention of sanctions include several entities from the People’s Republic of China (“China”), Serbia, and other entities throughout Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East.

In combination with over 200 sanctions imposed by the Department of State, today’s sanctions actions reflect the largest addition to OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals (“SDN”) List since the beginning of the war in Ukraine. Individuals and entities added to the SDN List have their property and interests in property in the United States blocked and are generally excluded from participating in the U.S. financial system. OFAC has concurrently issued General Licenses authorizing certain wind-down activities related to certain persons that became subject to sanctions on February 23.

The sanctions imposed by the Department of State target the Russian defense, energy, mining, and metals sectors, among others, and third country sanctions evaders, including several entities in Türkiye, the United Arab Emirates (“UAE”), and China. The Department of State sanctions also target individuals connected to Navalny’s imprisonment and the forcible transfer or deportation of Ukrainian children.

Export Controls

With respect to export restrictions, the Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) announced the addition of 93 entities to its Entity List, severely restricting the ability of these entities to receive any items subject to U.S. export jurisdiction under the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”). The entities added to the Entity List on February 23 include 63 Russian entities and an additional 30 in Türkiye, China, the UAE, the Kyrgyz Republic, India, and South Korea.

Along with allies, including the European Union, Japan, and the UK, BIS has also increased the number of “common high priority items” from 45 to 50. The common high priority items, designated by six-digit Harmonized System Codes, are subject to export controls and pose a heightened risk of being illegally diverted to Russia. The five recent additions to the Common High Priority Items List correspond to certain machine tools.

UK and EU Sanctions

Similar to the United States, the EU today announced additional sanctions on Russia to mark the two-year anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine. The EU’s 194 designations bring the total number of individuals and entities subject to European sanctions to over 2000. The UK also announced more than 50 new sanctions on February 22 to mark the solemn anniversary. The concurrent EU and UK sanctions serve as a reminder that many companies are subject to more than one sanctions regime and must adhere to requirements imposed by multiple jurisdictions.


Today’s actions highlight the continued efforts by the United States and its allies to curtail Russia’s ability to continue its war in Ukraine through the imposition of additional sanctions and export controls. The additional actions add to the complexity of navigating the current international business environment. To assist businesses, financial institutions, investors, and due diligence service providers, the Departments of State, Commerce, the Treasury, and Labor today issued a Business Advisory describing “Risks and Considerations for Doing Business in the Russian Federation and Russia-Occupied Territories of Ukraine.” The advisory provides a brief overview of relevant actions imposed against Russia and third countries as well as due diligence recommendations for businesses and individuals.

If you have any questions about the new sanctions or export controls announced today or at any time since the invasion of Ukraine, or if you have general questions related to the impacts of economic sanctions or export controls, please do not hesitate to contact the attorneys at Torres Trade Law. The Torres team has extensive experience in conducting risk assessments, implementing sanctions and export control compliance programs, conducting discrete internal investigations, and disclosing violations to relevant agencies.