Council Regulation (EU) 2023/1215 of 23 June 2023 amending Regulation (EU) No 269/2014 concerning restrictive measures in respect of actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine
On 23 June 2023, the Council adopted Decision (CFSP) 2023/1218 ( 3 ), amending Decision 2014/145/CFSP, which introduced a further criterion for the listing of natural or legal persons, entities or bodies subject to the asset freeze and the prohibition on making funds and economic resources available to designated persons and entities in response to information warfare conducted by Russia in order to implement its war of aggression against Ukraine. That Decision also amended one of the existing listing criteria, in view of the Council’s assessment that circumventing the restrictive measures adopted by the Union in response to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, or otherwise significantly frustrating such restrictive measures by third country operators not bound by those measures in such a way as to contribute to Russia’s capacity to wage war, may undermine the purpose and effectiveness of those measures. Indications of cases of frustrating the Union’s restrictive measures could include, inter alia, the fact that the main activity of a third country operator consists of purchasing restricted goods in the Union that reach Russia, the involvement of Russian persons or entities at any stage, the recent creation of a company for purposes related to restricted goods reaching Russia, or a drastic increase in the turnover of a third country operator involved in such activities.
Decision (CFSP) 2023/1218 also introduced further derogations from the asset freeze and the prohibition on making funds and economic resources available to certain listed entities to allow for divestment from Russian companies and the disposal of certain types of securities held with specified listed entities. It also introduced a derogation allowing for the setting-up, certification or evaluation of a firewall that removes the control exercised by a listed person over the assets of a non-listed Union entity which the listed person owns or controls and that ensures that no benefit accrues to the latter, thus allowing that entity to continue its business operations. With a view to safeguarding maritime safety, Decision (CFSP) 2023/1218 also introduced an exemption from the asset freeze and the prohibition on making funds and economic resources available to allow for the provision of pilot services in specific circumstances.
Decision (CFSP) 2023/1218 also extended to certain newly-listed financial institutions the derogation from the asset freeze and from the prohibition on making available funds and economic resources that was applicable to previously-listed financial institutions