Frequently Asked Questions

1091. Do non-U.S. persons face sanctions risk for supporting Russia following its sham referenda, purported annexation, and continued occupation of the Kherson, Zaporizhzhya, Donetsk, and Luhansk regions of Ukraine?

Answer

Yes.  On September 23, G7 Leaders issued a statement condemning Russia’s sham referenda and noting their collective readiness to impose further economic costs on Russia, and on individuals and entities both inside and outside of Russia that provide political or economic support for Russia’s illegal attempts to change the status of Ukrainian territory.  

The United States is prepared to more aggressively use its authorities under existing U.S. sanctions programs to target such persons whose activities may constitute material assistance, sponsorship, financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to, or in support of (together “material support”), sanctioned persons or sanctionable activity.  Particular areas of targeting focus include entities and individuals in jurisdictions outside Russia that provide political or economic support for Russia’s illegal attempt to annex Ukrainian sovereign territory.  Examples of activities that could be targeted include those related to:

  • Providing material support for the organization of Russia’s sham referenda or annexation, as well as economic or other activity that seeks to legitimize Russia’s sham referenda or annexation;
  • Providing material support to Russia’s military and defense industrial base, including significant transactions by entities in third countries that provide material support to Russia’s military, defense industrial base, and designated entities and persons operating in Russia’s defense industrial base;
  • Attempting to circumvent or evade U.S. sanctions on Russia and Belarus; and
  • Providing material support to Russian entities or individuals subject to certain blocking sanctions.

Multiple Executive Orders (E.O.) — including E.O.s 13660, 14024, and 14065 — authorize the imposition of blocking sanctions on categories of persons — inside or outside Russia — who provide material support for Russia following its sham referenda, purported annexation, and continued occupation of the Kherson, Zaporizhzhya, Donetsk, and Luhansk regions of Ukraine. 

U.S. sanctions are not designed to target Ukraine or the Ukrainian people, including those living in areas occupied or purportedly annexed by Russia.  In addition, as noted in OFAC’s Fact Sheet: Preserving Agricultural Trade, Access to Communication, and Other Support to Those Impacted by Russia’s War Against Ukraine and Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) 1007, OFAC sanctions do not target transactions related to the export of food or medicine, the response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the official business of an international organization, or the activities of nongovernmental organizations, as well as personal remittances, telecommunications, internet services, or mail.  

Finally, OFAC sanctions do not prohibit transactions related to the sale of or transport of crude oil; petroleum; petroleum fuels, oils, and products of their distillation; liquefied natural gas; coal; and coal products of Russian Federation origin, aside from the importation of such products into the United States.  OFAC will generally not impose sanctions on non-U.S. persons that engage in transactions that would be authorized for U.S. persons.  For additional information, please see Russia-related General License (GL) 8C, FAQ 980, and FAQ 1018.  OFAC has issued preliminary guidance on the planned maritime services policy and related price exception for seaborne Russian oil and intends to issue additional guidance in coming weeks. 
 

Date Released
September 30, 2022