Regulations Amending the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations: SOR/2022-238
Canada Gazette, Part II, Volume 156, Number 24
SOR/2022-238 November 10, 2022
SPECIAL ECONOMIC MEASURES ACT
P.C. 2022-1209 November 10, 2022
Whereas the Governor in Council is of the opinion that gross and systemic human rights violations have been committed in the Russian Federation;
Therefore, Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, makes the annexed Regulations Amending the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations under subsections 4(1)footnote a, (1.1)footnote b, (2)footnote c and (3) of the Special Economic Measures Act footnote d.
Regulations Amending the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations
1 Part 1.1 of Schedule 1 to the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations footnote 1 is amended by adding the following in numerical order:
- 10 Elena Anatolievna LENSKAYA (born on January 22, 1979)
- 11 Diana Igorevna MISHCHENKO (born on May 12, 1977)
- 12 Ilya Pavlovich KOZLOV (born on October 17, 1973)
- 13 Andrei Andreevich ZADACHIN (born on August 22, 1990)
- 14 Mikhail Alekseevich SMIRNOV
- 15 Danila Yurievich MIKHEEV
- 16 Andrei Gennadievich SEDYSHEV (born on February 11, 1977)
- 17 Vera Nikolaevna CHERVONOVA (born on September 3, 1964)
- 18 Oleg Viktorovich ALYPOV (born on March 7, 1981)
- 19 Alexander Georgievich FEDORINOV
- 20 Alexander SAMOFAL (born on August 23, 1981)
- 21 Roman Mikhailovich MEZENTSEV (born on November 17, 1983)
- 22 Konstantin Borisovich KUDRYAVTSEV (born on April 28, 1980)
- 23 Valery SUKHAREV (born in 1956)
- 24 Leonid Alekseevich SAGALAKOV (born on August 2, 1969)
- 25 Roman Saakovich SAAKYAN
- 26 Vladimir Mikhailovich BOGDANOV (born on July 17, 1958)
- 27 Stanislav Valentinovich MAKSHAKOV (born on March 26, 1966)
- 28 Alexey ALEXANDROV (born on June 16, 1981)
- 29 Ivan Vladimirovich OSIPOV (born on August 21, 1978)
- 30 Vladimir Alexandrovich PANYAEV (born on November 25, 1980)
- 31 Aleksei Semyonovich SEDOV (born on August 26, 1954)
- 32 Kirill Yuryevich VASILIEV (born on February 22, 1973)
Application Before Publication
2 For the purpose of paragraph 11(2)(a) of the Statutory Instruments Act, these Regulations apply according to their terms before they are published in the Canada Gazette.
Coming into Force
3 These Regulations come into force on the day on which they are registered.
REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT
(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)
The Russian Federation continues to commit gross and systematic human rights violations in Russia. This domestic oppression is closely linked to its aggression abroad, particularly in Ukraine.
Following Russia’s illegal occupation and attempted annexation of Crimea in March 2014, the Canadian government, in tandem with partners and allies, enacted sanctions through the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations (the Regulations) under the Special Economic Measures Act (SEMA). These sanctions impose dealings prohibitions (an effective asset freeze) on designated individuals and entities in Russia and Ukraine supporting or enabling Russia’s violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty. Any person in Canada and Canadians outside Canada are thereby prohibited from dealing in the property of, entering into transactions with, providing services to, or otherwise making goods available to listed persons.
In late fall of 2021, after months of escalatory behaviour, Russia began massing troops, military equipment and military capabilities on Ukraine’s borders and around Ukraine. The build-up lasted into February 2022, eventually totalling 150 000–190 000 troops. On February 15, 2022, the Russian Duma (equivalent to the Canadian House of Commons) voted to ask President Putin to recognize the so-called Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) and Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) in eastern Ukraine, further violating Ukraine’s sovereignty, as well as the Minsk agreements intended to bring about a peaceful resolution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine. On February 18, 2022, Russia-backed “so-called authorities” ordered the evacuation of women and children from the region, as well as the conscription of men aged 18 to 55. On February 20, 2022, Russia extended a joint military exercise with Belarus and announced that Russian troops would not leave Belarus. On February 21, 2022, following a meeting of the Russian Security Council, President Putin signed decrees recognizing the “independence” and “sovereignty” of the so-called Luhansk People’s Republic and Donetsk People’s Republic. Immediately following this, President Putin ordered Russian forces to perform “peacekeeping functions” in the so-called LPR and DPR regions. He also expressly abandoned the Minsk agreements, declaring them “non-existent.” On February 22, 2022, Russia’s Duma granted President Putin permission to use military force outside the country. Uniformed Russian troops and armoured vehicles then moved into the Donetsk and Luhansk regions for the first time under official orders. On February 24, 2022, President Putin announced a “special military operation” as Russian forces launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The invasion began with targeted strikes on key Ukrainian military infrastructure and the incursion of Russian forces into Ukraine in the north from Russia and Belarus, in the east from Russia and the so-called LPR and DPR regions, and in the south from Crimea.
The deterioration of Russia’s relations with Ukraine has paralleled the worsening of its relations with the United States (U.S.) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which has led to heightened tensions.
Since the beginning of the current crisis, Canada and the international community have been calling on Russia to de-escalate, pursue diplomatic channels, and demonstrate transparency in military activities. Diplomatic negotiations have been taking place along several tracks, including via (1) United States–Russia bilateral talks (e.g. the Strategic Stability Dialogue); (2) NATO; (3) the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE); and (4) the Normandy Four format (Ukraine, Russia, Germany, France) for the implementation of the Minsk agreements.
On February 21, 2022, G7 Foreign Affairs ministers released a statement condemning Russian recognition of the so-called LPR and DPR regions and stating that they were preparing to step up restrictive measures to respond to Russia’s actions, while reaffirming their unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. G7 Foreign Affairs ministers and NATO leaders continue to be united in promising significant consequences for Russia.
In September 2022, a report by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights drew a direct link between systematic human rights and repression inside Russia, and its war of aggression against Ukraine. As part of the OSCE Report on Russia’s Legal and Administrative Practice in Light of its OSCE Human Dimension Commitments, published on September 22, 2022, the OSCE found a clear connection between the wave of repressive measures in Russia immediately before and particularly after February 24, 2022, when Russia began its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Canada continues to strongly condemn Russia’s behaviour toward Ukraine. Canada has announced several contributions to support Ukraine, including humanitarian, development, resilience, security, human rights and stabilization programming in Ukraine. This represents over $600 million since January 2022. To support Ukraine’s economic resilience, Canada also offered up to $1.25 billion in additional loan resources to the Ukrainian government through a new administered account for Ukraine at the International Monetary Fund (IMF); $1 billion has been disbursed.
Canada also sent weapons, such as rocket launchers, hand grenades, anti-armour weapons, and ammunition to support Ukraine. These contributions are in addition to more than $57 million in military equipment that Canada has provided Ukraine from 2015 to 2021, and the expansion of Canada’s commitment to Operation REASSURANCE, the Canadian Armed Forces’ contribution to NATO assurance and deterrence measures in Central and Eastern Europe.
Since February 24, 2022, the Government of Canada has enacted a number of punitive measures, and imposed severe extensive economic sanctions, against Russia for its war of aggression against Ukraine. Since the start of the crisis, under the Special Economic Measures Act, Canada has sanctioned over 1 400 individuals and entities in Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine. This includes senior members of the Russian government, including President Putin and members of the Duma, the Federation Council and the Security Council, military officials and oligarchs (namely Roman Abramovich, the Rotenberg brothers, Oleg Deripaska, Alisher Usmanov, Gennady Timchenko, Yevgeny Prigozhin), and their family members.
Canada also targeted Russia’s ability to access the global financial system, raise or transfer funds, and maintain funds in Canadian dollars by sanctioning several core Russian financial institutions, including Sberbank, VTB, and VEB, as well as the Central Bank of Russia, the Ministry of Finance and the National Wealth Fund. Canada also successfully advocated for the removal of several Russian banks from the SWIFT payment system.
Furthermore, Canada implemented measures to pressure the Russian economy and limit Russia’s trade with and from Canada. Russia’s economy depends heavily on the energy sector. Therefore, Canada moved ahead with a prohibition on the import of three distinct types of oil products, including crude oil, from Russia. Canada revoked Russia’s most favoured nation status, applying a 35% tariff on most imports from Russia. In response to Belarus’s support to Russia, Canada also revoked Belarus’s most favoured nation status.
Finally, Canada stopped the issuance of new permit applications and cancelled valid permits for exporting controlled military, strategic, and dual-use items to Russia, with exceptions for critical medical supply chains and humanitarian assistance.
These amendments to the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations build upon Canada’s existing sanctions by further impeding Russian dealings with Canada. These measures are being taken in coordination with partners, including in the U.S., the United Kingdom (U.K.), the European Union (EU), Australia, New Zealand and Japan.
Conditions for imposing and lifting sanctions
Pursuant to SEMA, the Governor in Council may impose economic and other sanctions against foreign states, entities and individuals when, among other circumstances, gross and systematic human rights violations have been committed.
The duration of Russian sanctions by Canada and like-minded partners has been explicitly linked to the peaceful resolution of the conflict, and the respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, within its internationally recognized borders, including Crimea, as well as Ukraine’s territorial sea. The U.S., the U.K., the EU, New Zealand and Australia have continued to update their sanction regimes against individuals and entities in both Ukraine and Russia.
- Condemn the ongoing gross and systematic human rights abuses taking place inside of Russia.
- Impose further costs on Russian officials in Russia’s justice and security sector who are engaged in these human rights abuses.
- Align with actions taken by international partners to underscore continued unity with allies in responding to Russia’s domestic human rights abuses, which are connected to Russia’s aggressive actions in Ukraine.
- These measures will target missing gaps in our coordinated sanctions regime.
- These measures target those individuals who are assisting in the repression of anti-war protests and criticism, and the free flow of information about the war, as means to assist Russia’s war against Ukraine.
The Regulations Amending the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations (the amendments) add 23 individuals to Schedule 1 of the Regulations, who are subject to a broad dealings ban. The individuals are members of the Russian justice and security sector, including police officers and investigators, prosecutors, judges, and prison officials. A number of these individuals are senior officials in the Government of Russia. They have participated in gross and systematic human rights violations in Russia against opposition leaders, including Vladimir Kara-Murza, Alexey Navalny, and other Russian citizens.
Global Affairs Canada engages regularly with relevant stakeholders, including civil society organizations, cultural communities and other like-minded governments, regarding Canada’s approach to sanctions implementation.
With respect to the amendments targeting individuals, public consultation would not be appropriate, given the risk of asset flight and the urgency to impose these measures in response to gross and systematic violations of human rights occurring in Russia.
Modern treaty obligations and Indigenous engagement and consultation
An initial assessment of the geographical scope of the amendments was conducted and did not identify any modern treaty obligations, as the amendments do not take effect in a modern treaty area.
Regulations are the sole method to enact sanctions in Canada. No other instrument could be considered.
Benefits and costs
Sanctions targeting specific individuals have less impact on Canadian businesses than traditional broad-based economic sanctions, and have limited impact on the citizens of the country of the listed individuals. It is likely that the newly listed individuals have limited linkages with Canada, and therefore do not have business dealings that are significant to the Canadian economy.
Canadian banks and financial institutions are required to comply with sanctions. They will do so by adding the newly listed individuals to their existing monitoring systems, which may result in a minor compliance cost.
The amendments could create additional costs for businesses seeking permits that would authorize them to carry out specified activities or transactions that are otherwise prohibited.
Small business lens
Likewise, the amendments could create additional costs for small businesses seeking permits that would authorize them to carry out specified activities or transactions that are otherwise prohibited. However, costs will likely be low, as it is unlikely that Canadian small businesses have or will have dealings with the newly listed individuals. No significant loss of opportunities for small businesses is expected as a result of the amendments.
The permitting process for businesses meets the definition of “administrative burden” in the Red Tape Reduction Act and would need to be calculated and offset within 24 months. However, the amendments address an emergency circumstance and are therefore exempt from the requirement to offset administrative burden and regulatory titles under the one-for-one rule.
Regulatory cooperation and alignment
While the amendments are not related to a work plan or commitment under a formal regulatory cooperation forum, they align with actions taken by Canada’s allies.
Strategic environmental assessment
The amendments are unlikely to result in important environmental effects. In accordance with the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals, a preliminary scan concluded that a strategic environmental assessment is not required.
Gender-based analysis plus (GBA+)
The subject of economic sanctions has previously been assessed for effects on gender and diversity. Although intended to facilitate a change in behaviour through economic pressure on individuals in foreign states, sanctions under the Special Economic Measures Act can nevertheless have an unintended impact on certain vulnerable groups and individuals. Rather than affecting Russia as a whole, these targeted sanctions impact individuals believed to have participated in gross and systematic human rights violations in Russia. Therefore, these sanctions are unlikely to have a significant impact on vulnerable groups as compared to traditional broad-based economic sanctions directed toward a state, and limit the collateral effects to those dependent on those targeted individuals.
The amendments seek to impose a direct economic cost on Russia and signal Canada’s strong condemnation of Russia’s violations of its international human rights obligations. The 23 individuals are members of the Russian justice and security sector, including police officers and investigators, prosecutors, judges, and prison officials. A number of these individuals are senior officials in the Government of Russia. They are being added to the Regulations because they have been involved in gross and systematic human rights abuses against Russian opposition leaders, including Vladimir Kara-Murza and Alexey Navalny, and other Russian citizens.
These gross and systematic human rights violations are part of and contribute to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that began on February 24, 2022. The OSCE has found that by silencing domestic civic action and criticism of Russia’s war, Russian officials and elites seek to ensure they will not face domestic opposition while carrying out a foreign aggression. The OSCE reports that this repression stretches back over a decade and has intensified since 2012. One of the core pieces of legislation suppressing civil society activities is the so-called “foreign agents” law, which has been criticized by all international human rights monitoring bodies. After the illegal invasion of Ukraine, the Russian government made further amendments to this law to target criticism of its war and anti-war protests. As part of this, the Russian regime has attempted to outlaw the use of the word “war” and other criticisms of its invasion as disinformation and treason.
These sanctions show Canada’s solidarity with like-minded countries, which have already imposed similar restrictions. The addition of these individuals aligns with measures taken by partners.
Implementation, compliance and enforcement, and service standards
The amendments come into force on the day on which they are registered.
The names of the listed individuals will be available online for financial institutions to review, and will be added to the Consolidated Canadian Autonomous Sanctions List. This will help to facilitate compliance with the Regulations.
Canada’s sanctions regulations are enforced by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). In accordance with section 8 of the SEMA, every person who knowingly contravenes or fails to comply with the Regulations is liable, upon summary conviction, to a fine of not more than $25,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than one year, or to both: or, upon conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years.
The CBSA has enforcement authorities under SEMA and the Customs Act, and will play a role in the enforcement of these sanctions.
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