President of Ukraine

When working on new sanctions against Russia, it is crucial not to give it the opportunity to circumvent current restrictions – Andriy Yermak at joint briefing with Michael McFaul

9 September 2023 - 11:43

When working on new sanctions against Russia, it is crucial not to give it the opportunity to circumvent current restrictions – Andriy Yermak at joint briefing with Michael McFaul

Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak and Director at the Freeman-Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI), a professor at Stanford University, Ambassador Michael McFaul spoke at a briefing in the Office of the President about the new developments of the International Expert Group on Russian Sanctions led by them.

Yermak thanked Ukraine's great friend Michael McFaul for fruitful collaboration in the working group, the recommendations of which are already on the tables of nearly every world leader.

"We are proud to say that 85% of our recommendations have already been implemented in sanctions applied by the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union," he said.

For his part, McFaul said that it was a great honor for him to work in this group, which has brought together many Ukrainian, American and European experts.

"Our group's goal is to stop this terrible invasion and occupation of Ukraine as soon as possible. The goal is to reduce the funding that Putin uses for this war. The goal is to reduce the supply of technology that he obtains through third countries and uses to kill Ukrainians. Our work is to prepare new creative ideas and provide them to the governments, including the Ukrainian government and my government, and the governments of other countries, for them to apply," the Ambassador said.

Answering questions about preparing the 12th package of sanctions, the head of the Office of the President confirmed that work on it is ongoing.

"We continue insisting on sanctions against Rosatom and Russian defense industry enterprises. We are rapidly responding to information from our military to stop Russia's ability to manufacture missiles and drones as much as possible. We are very uncompromising in this regard. If we find elements manufactured even in our partner countries, we talk about it openly, and our partners are reacting to it very quickly and effectively," Yermak said.

At the same time, the co-chairs of the International Expert Group said that the war started by Russia continues, which means that it is necessary to introduce new, stronger sanctions and more closely monitor compliance with the restrictions applied earlier.

As McFaul said, the working group has taken several steps in this direction. First, it developed documents in which extremely close attention was paid to schemes for supplying electrical components and equipment to Russia, in particular, through third countries.

"The first step is to show that it exists. In informal conversations, representatives of some companies are even surprised that their components are used by Russia, although they are sent to third countries. The next step is to force companies to halt these exports. We have not yet achieved this, but I think this will be our next step," the Ambassador said.

Yermak added that the International Expert Group works 24/7, and over 50 experts from around the world are already involved in it.

"Today, we had the opportunity to report to Mr. President about the results of our work. Many of our group joined via Zoom. Everyone is full of enthusiasm, no one is tired, and our work continues," he said.

Answering journalists' questions, Yermak also informed about the work in the direction of confiscation of Russia's frozen assets for the benefit of Ukraine. According to him, the difficulty of implementing this task lies in the fact that each country has its own legislation, and this makes it difficult to adopt a single decision that would suit all partners.

"Today, we are talking about supporting Ukraine during the war, but we are already discussing the future reconstruction. All countries understand that without the confiscation and use of Russian assets it will be impossible to do this. Therefore, everyone is ready for it, and each country is looking for its own way. I think it was crucial to confirm that everyone is on the same page, and mechanisms will be found," the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine concluded.