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Last week's major developments in sanctions - Dec. 21 to Dec. 25, 2020.

Updated: Jan 10, 2021

Monday, December 21st:

- The week started with a joint statement of JCPOA participants' ministers in which they acknowledged the prospect of a return of the US to the JCPOA and underlined their readiness to positively address this in a joint effort. (Link)

- Then we had the designation of two entities in Panama and one in Cuba pursuant the the United State's Cuba program. (OFAC press release, Dept. of State Press release) Interestingly, two of them were already listed on the Cuba Restricted list of the Dept. of State which meant the U.S. persons were not allowed to deal with them directly. Now there is a full asset freezing and prohibition in dealing with these entities.

- OFAC designated three high-ranking officials in Nicaragua. (Link)

- Remember that travel bans are a type of sanctions many tend to forget about. On Monday, the United State's Dept. of State imposing travel restrictions on "Chinese officials who are believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, policies or actions aimed at repressing religious and spiritual practitioners, members of ethnic minority groups, dissidents, human rights defenders, journalists, labor organizers, civil society organizers, and peaceful protestors." (Link)

Tuesday, December 22nd: - OFAC and Dept. of State imposed sanctions again 7 individuals and 10 entities pursuant to Syria program of the United States. Some of these sanctions were imposed by the Dept. of State pursuant to E.O. 13894. (This E.O. initially used against Turkey following its military operation in Syria) The rest of the sanctions were imposed by the OFAC. In the Treasury's press release you can find a reference to the difference between designation and identification when it comes to additions to the SND list. It is interesting because for the latter type of addition to the SDN list the sanctions were already in place yet not for the former one. OFAC also added the name of the already blocked Central Bank of Syria to the SDN list. The addition did not add or change any restriction and it was done to underscore the status of the bank as a blocked entity. OFAC also published three Frequently Asked Questions 866, 867, and 868. I highly recommend you to read the press releases published by Dept. of State and Treasury.

Wednesday, December 23rd:

- OFAC designate one individual and four entities for their roles in the recent fraudulent presidential election in Belarus. This brings the number of designated individuals and entities by the United States to 38. Concurrently, the United States Dept. of State imposed visa restrictions on 39 additional individuals.

- OFAC issued 3 General Licenses (two in Ukraine/Russia program and one in Venezuela program), extending the expiration date of the already existing licenses meant to decrease the negative effects on global economy following the imposition sanctions in Ukraine/Russia and Venezuela programs. (Link)

- In an export control related news, Bureau of Industry and Security of Dept. of Commerce, published the final rule removing Hong Kong as a Separate Destination Under the Export Administration Regulations. (Link)

Thursday, December 24th:

- There was no major development on this day.

Friday, December 25th:

- There was no major development on this day. Merry Christmas!!


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