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Russian government approves list of unfriendly countries and territories

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Russia has said all corporate deals with companies and individuals from “unfriendly countries” will now have to be approved by a government commission.

Moscow said on Monday it approved a list of countries and territories taking “unfriendly actions” against Russia, its companies and citizens in the wake of severe economic sanctions over the Ukraine conflict.

According to a government statement, the list includes Albania, Andorra, Australia, Great Britain, including Jersey, Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Gibraltar, all European Union member states, Iceland, Canada, Liechtenstein, Micronesia, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, San Marino, North Macedonia, Singapore, United States, Ukraine, Montenegro, Switzerland and Japan, and Taiwan (considered a territory of China, but ruled by its own administration since 1949). 

Al Jazeera

Assessment: The announcement from the Russian federation is assessed to be deliberately vague so as to create the conditions of commercial uncertainty and allow for a degree of flexibility and possible reprisal action in the face of further unfavourable sanctions by listed countries towards Russia. Whilst it is unclear whether the term 'corporate deal' refers to the specific acts of vessels from these countries calling at Russian ports it is clear that under the recent announcement there is a potential for Russia to use the ambit of 'procedural / approval issues' as a pretext for the effective detention or seizure of vessels at Russian ports should Russia deem this to be advantageous. There remains a considerable degree of commercial uncertainty around trading conditions at Russian ports for listed states. The conditions for such hostile activity are likely to materialise around a further evolution in the sanctions or lethal aid landscape against Russia. Corporate entities of listed states should strongly consider their exposure to such activity under the guise of procedural / approval issues if trading at Russian ports.