On the instructions of President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the International Working Group on Sanctions against Russia, chaired by Head of the Presidential Office Andriy Yermak and Director of the Freeman-Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI), Ambassador Michael McFaul, presented a new action plan to further strengthen sanctions pressure on Russia. The Head of the President's Office told this during an online meeting with representatives of the expert and media community.
Andriy Yermak explained: "The Action Plan to enhance sanctions against Russia, which the international expert group presented last year, became the basis for the introduction of important sanctions.”
"The documents of our group are now on the desks of all world leaders and all those involved in sanctions. I am proud that today the work of our group is the basis for more than 70% of the sanctions that have been implemented and are being implemented by the US, EU, UK and other countries," he said.
Andriy Yermak emphasized that the group achieved an embargo on Russian oil and oil products, their price caps, full blocking sanctions against about 20 of the largest Russian banks, and Russia's deprivation of all rights in the FATF. In addition, an unprecedentedly wide list of dual-use goods was subject to trade restrictions, individual sanctions were imposed on thousands of individuals from various fields, and a coordination mechanism for the implementation of the G7 sanctions was created.
"Almost everything from the first action plan has been implemented. I would like to thank all Ukrainians for this. Sanctions are a powerful weapon with which we are defending our country and thanks to which we will defeat the aggressor," he said.
The Head of the President's Office said that the international working group had presented and published a new sanctions action plan - Action Plan 2.0.
"We are looking forward to the powerful new sanctions packages envisaged by this plan. This is an extremely important document, and I thank everyone who participated in its development," said Andriy Yermak.
He emphasized that the new plan should be communicated as soon as possible to world leaders and relevant organizations involved in the issue of sanctions. Ukraine expects the inclusion of Russian propagandists who support the aggression against Ukraine in the next sanctions packages. Andriy Yermak also emphasized the importance of imposing sanctions on Russian athletes, who are used by the aggressor country as a tool to propagandize its war.
The Head of the Presidential Office explained that Ukraine continues to communicate with partner states, in particular with the countries of the Global South, on strengthening the sanctions regime against Russia. According to Andriy Yermak, the leaders of these countries are well aware of the situation in Ukraine, and therefore expectations regarding their resolve are quite high.
Ambassador Michael McFaul emphasized that despite the significant amount of work done in the context of the sanctions, quite a few developments still need to be implemented. The experts focused on these areas in the process of preparing the updated plan. The areas of sanctions pressure proposed in the document are very specific. These are the most painful points of the Russian economy that should be pressed to reduce Russia's potential for military action. In particular, Mr. McFaul emphasized the importance of further sanctions against the Russian energy complex and defense industry, restrictions on the use of financial instruments, the issue of confiscation of the Central Bank of Russia's assets and their subsequent transfer to Ukraine, as well as other spheres reflected in the action plan.
According to him, the sanctions regime needs to be enhanced, and the new document shows how sanctions can be implemented against the aggressor country.
The full version of the Sanctions Action Plan 2.0 is available in the attachment.