We have seen firm responses from numerous western countries in light of recent Russian cyber activity and allegations of a Russian nerve agent attack in the UK. The US has stepped up sanctions against Russian entities and individuals. Read our client alert below for a summary of the action taken and the impact it will have.
To confront recent Russian cyber activity, last week the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated five Russian entities and 19 individuals under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) and Executive Order (E.O.) 13694, ‘Blocking the Property of Certain Persons Engaging in Significant Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities’. This announcement comes as the United States joined Britain, France and Germany in condemning Russia for its presumed role in the nerve-gas attack on a Russian spy and his daughter on British soil. (See client alert 2018-066 for a discussion on the UK government’s response). The new designations aim to hold accountable those Russian government officials and oligarchs responsible for targeting U.S. government entities and critical infrastructure sectors. The new designations also represent the Trump administration’s attempt to discourage Russia from: 1) continuing its efforts to destabilise Ukraine; 2) occupying Crimea; 3) interfering in U.S. elections; and 4) continuing its alleged corruption and human rights abuses.