Russian MiniLessons: Санкции в отношении России – Sanctions on Russia

A poster advertising the independence referendum in Crimea.

The following bilingual Russian MiniLesson is meant to build your vocabulary by providing Russian phrases within English text. Hover over the bold Russian to reveal its English translation.

Sanctions against Russia have been a complex and ever-changing US-led effort. Some other countries, most prominently the EU, have also enacted sanctions, but there is not a single set of sanctions that everyone is following. The US, however, does have the power to use economic pressure (by pressuring banks from making sanctioned transaction with Russian banks, for instance, by potentially excluding them from transactions with US banks) to try to enforce sanctions on a wider basis. Likewise, the US can use diplomatic pressure to help enforce sanctions. Countries that have some form of sanctions enacted against Russia include the US, Canada, Japan, Moldova, Iceland, Montenegro, Ukraine, Australia, Georgia, Switzerland, Norway, and French Guiana.

On March 6th, 2014, экономические санкции против России были введены  after President Obama signed an исполнительный приказ  which объявил чрезвычайное положение. The emergency was described as such: “действия и политика людей – включая людей, которые взяли в свои руки власть в регионе Крыма без разрешения правительства Украины…” “составляют необычную и чрезвычайную угрозу национальной безопасности и внешней политике Соединенных Штатов”.

By Executive Order 1360, были введены ограничения на въезд в США и на пользование находящимися в США финансовыми средствами определенных лиц.

On March 17, the USA, European Union and Canada additionally ввели санкции по отношению к России a day after референдум о статусе Крыма and референдум о статусе Севастополя were held, where, according to the official results, more than 80 percent of Crimean voters agreed on вхождение Крыма в состав России в качестве субъекта Российской Федерации. The vote was criticized abroad for the speed with which it was organized, the fact that Russian military were on the ground at the time, and other reasons.

Countries that have passed sanctions are shown in red. EU countries that voted against sanctions are yellow. Blue countries have discussed enacting sanctions. Click here for the original, full-size image from

The EU and Canada запретили въезд на свою территорию определенных лиц. These individuals, according the sanctions declaration from the EU and Canada, “были ответственными за действия, которые подрывают территориальную целостность Украины”.

“Черный список США” included 27 people – депутаты Госдумы, сенаторы, бизнесмены, два лидера новой власти в Крыму. The EU black list included 33 persons, some are the same as in the US list, but also included Russian TV host Dmitry Kiselev and more people from Crimea’s new government.

Japan also soon объявила санкции против России. These were diplomatic declarations that calling for the приостановку переговоров относительно военных вопросов, космоса, инвестиций и требований к визам.

On the 19th of March, the Australian government ввело целевые финансовые санкции и запреты на поездки on some Russian individuals.

From March – early April, Moldova, Albania, Iceland, Montenegro, and Ukraine imposed the same restrictions and travel bans issued by the EU on 17 March.

All this was just the first round of sanctions. A second round followed on 28 April. The US объявило о том, что оно расширяет санкции and added seven Russian officials, including Rosneft President Igor Sechin and TV host and Duma Deputy Alexei Pushkov, and banned business transactions with seventeen Russian companies.

On the same day, the European Union issued travel bans against fifteen more individuals and made a statement that “санкции не являются карательными, но нацелены на создание изменений в политике или деятельности страны, на которую они нацелены, предприятий или частных лиц”. Both the USA and the EU stated they would not issue export licenses for products destined for Russia which может помочь российскому военному потенциалу.

The third round of sanctions commenced on the 17 July when the United States ввели первые санкции в отношении ключевых секторов российской экономики, imposing sanctions on major Russian companies such as Rosneft, Novatek oil company, state-owned banks Vnesheconombank and Gazprombank, as well as on a number of предприятия российского оборонно-промышленного комплекса, such as Kalashnikov Concern and Almaz-Antei Corporation (which makes anti-aircraft systems). Soon, in July, the EU expanded its sanctions to an additional 18 individuals and 21 entities, including imposing restrictions on all major government-owned Russian banks and to the Russian energy and defense industries.

On August 6, the USA запретили поставку в Россию оборудования для глубинной добычи нефти, as well as equipment for разработки арктического шельфа и сланцевых запасов нефти и газа, alongside banning supplies of other advanced technologies in oil and gas drilling.

In July-August, 2014, Canada, Japan, Norway, Switzerland, and Ukraine imposed sanctions on their own list of major Russian oil and gas producing companies and state-owned banks.

On September 12, the USA imposed further sanctions on oil major oil and gas drilling corporations in Russia, such as Gazprom, Lukoil, Transneft, Gazpromneft, Surgutneftegaz, Novatek, and Rosneft. Американским компаниям запрещено поставлять им товары и технологии, необходимые для освоения месторождений нефти на глубоководных участках и арктическом шельфе, а также в сланцевых пластах.

Also, on the same day, был введен запрет on giving loans to major Russian banks such as Sberbank, Bank of Moscow, Vnesheconombank and Rosneft and Gazprom companies – американским гражданам и компаниям запрещено покупать облигации этих банков и корпораций со сроками обращения свыше 30 дней, а также предоставлять им кредиты. RBC agency states that таким образом, санкции США затронули более 90% российского нефтяного сектора и почти всю российскую газодобычу.

The US again expanded sanctions in December 2014 by запретили вывоз, реэкспорт, продажу или поставку из США или гражданами США каких-либо товаров, услуг или технологии в Крым.Canada and the EU enacted similar sanctions.

Некоторые санкции были сняты over the last two years. Some have been simply redefined to exclude certain things. For instance, the first round of US sanctions caused widespread confusion in the business community. It was feared that any transaction with any entity even partly owned or controlled by the individuals named was now sanctioned. Among other instances, Visa and Mastercard shut down operations with numerous Russian banks, leaving Russian consumers without access to ATMs or point of sale transactions. The backlash from the Russian government and public was swift and loud and the US quickly clarified that such commercial transactions could continue. In September 2014, Canada исключила два российских банка из санкционного списка. The USA отменили санкционные ограничения on Turkish DenizBank owned by Sberbank in October 2014. In 2015, after banning all transactions in Crimea shut down Visa and Mastercard there, sanctions were clarified to allow some bank transactions for residents of Crimea. At that time, Crimeans were also allowed to use American social networks (which had also shut down in Crimea because of the broad sanctions).

About the Author

Andrei Nesterov

Andrei Nesterov leads SRAS' Research Services, performing remote archive research and consultations for researchers around the globe. Andrei graduated from Ural State University (journalism) and Irkutsk State Linguistic University (English). He also studied public policy and journalism at Duke University on a Muskie Fellowship and taught Russian at West Virginia University. As a journalist, he has reported in both Russian and English language outlets and has years of archival research experience. He has travelled Russia extensively and penned many stories on the “real Russia” which lies beyond the capital and major cities. Andrei also contributes news, feature stories, and language resources to the SRAS Family of Sites.

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