Western Sanctions and Retaliatory Restrictions by Russia

Since late February 2022 the US, the EU, and their allies have been imposing multiple rounds of economic sanctions and restrictions on the Russian Federation. The number of sanctions imposed is significant, with Russia becoming the most sanctioned country in the world by March 7 2022. The Russian response has been nothing but symmetrical.

Aviation

Flight Restrictions

On February 28 the Federal Air Transport Agency closed Russian airspace to planes registered in these countries:

  • All 27 EU members;
  • Albania;
  • The United Kingdom, the Crown Dependencies of Jersey, and the British Overseas Territories of the British Virgin Islands and Anguilla;
  • Canada;
  • Norway;
  • Iceland.

Leased Aircraft

On March 14 Vladimir Putin signed a presidential decree that allowed for a registration of property rights on air vessels leased from foreign companies. In mid-April it was confirmed Russian airlines have transferred 571 planes to the Russian State Registry of Civil Aircraft.

The Space Industry

In early March 2022 Dmitry Rogozin, then the current head of the State Space Corporation (also known as Roscosmos), announced that the Corporation would cease the export of the RD-180 rocket engine to its American partners. He also noted that the 24 engines still in use in the US would no longer be supported by Roscosmos.

Cooperation with the British company OneWeb has also been suspended, with the launch of 36 OneWeb satellites which was scheduled on March 5 cancelled.

Export and Import

On March 4 Minpromtorg (abbreviation for ‘the Ministry of Industry and Trade’) advised fertilizer manufacturers to refrain from exporting their products following restrictions imposed on Russian merchant ships.

On March 14 Mikhail Mishustin, the Prime Minister of Russia, suspended the export of wheat, rye, barley, and corn to all the countries of the Eurasian Economic Union except for Belarus. This ban ended on July 1 2022. The export of raw white and cane sugar to the EEU countries (again, excluding Belarus) is scheduled to end in fall.

On March 29 the Government of Russia made parallel import legal in the country. In a list of about 200 brands was published, with goods from these brands now being eligible for parallel import. A law further incorporating parallel import into the Russian economic and legislative systems was passed in the State Duma on 21 June 2022.

Fossil Fuels

On March 31 Vladimir Putin issued a presidential decree stating that the so-called «unfriendly countries» are now to pay for natural gas shipments using the Russian Ruble. The list of «unfriendly countries» itself has been earlier expanded to include the 27 EU member countries which are known to depend heavily on Russian fossil fuels.

According to the aforementioned decree, a potential buyer would need to transfer the payment to a special checking account at Gazprombank which would then be converted to rubles on the Moscow Stock Exchange. A number of countries refused to uphold the proposed payment scheme, including Poland, Bulgaria, Finland, the Netherlands, and Denmark, to which natural gas shipments are now suspended.

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