In this post, Sanchit Anand, Export Control Specialist, highlights how the sanctions imposed on Russia could impact researchers at the University of Edinburgh.
Why have new sanctions been imposed against Russia?
Russia’s recent invasion on Ukraine has led other countries to impose various coordinated economic sanctions against Russia, in continuation to progressive sanctions having been imposed since the annexation of Crimea in 2014.
One of the primary objectives of these measures is to impose severe consequences on Russia’s economy and its ability to finance the war with Ukraine. The sanctions also target specific oligarchs and political leaders. The sanctions against Russia apply to any exports to Russia, for use in Russia, to persons connected with Russia and supply or delivery from a place in Russia to a third country. The sanctions also prohibit provision of any technical assistance in Russia or to any of the sanctioned individuals in relation to military or dual-use goods, software or technology. However, these sanctions are subject to relevant exemptions.
Although sanctions have been imposed on Russia by many countries including the US and EU as a whole, our focus for the purpose of this blog is on the sanctions imposed by the UK and the implications these have on our work at the University of Edinburgh.
Sanctions imposed on Russia following its attack on Ukraine: A timeline
February 26: Russian banks’ access to the SWIFT international payment system blocked
Multiple countries including the US, EU and UK announced a joint action to remove some Russian banks from the SWIFT financial messaging system. The purpose of this measure is to disconnect the Russian banks from the rest of the world’s financial system.
Implication: Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) rely heavily on external funding for their research projects. Since this funding could be from various parts of the world, it becomes very important to track if the sources providing these funds are sanctioned. The researchers at such institutions should ensure that no transfer of funds to or from any of the listed entities or individuals takes place.
February 28: New export controls licencing measures
Through its Notice to Exporters (2022/03), the Export Control Joint Unit (ECJU) has suspended extant export control licences for dual-use items to Russia, including licences with Russia as a final destination. The approval of new export licences for dual-use items to Russia has also been suspended.
In addition, Russia has also been removed as a permitted destination from the following nine open general export licences (OGELs) (all links open in new tab):
Implication: Researchers who, either on behalf of the university or in their individual capacity, already had dual-use licences in place for export to Russia will no longer be able to export. Suspension of the application process for new licenses means that new licences for export of dual-use items to Russia can no longer be applied for.
Removal of Russia as a permitted destination from certain OGELs means that researchers at HEIs will need to conduct a due diligence process to ensure that they are not exporting restricted items in contravention of these new rules.
March 1: Extended Trade restrictions
New prohibitions have been introduced on the export of certain dual-use goods/technology and certain listed goods referred to as “critical-industry goods/technology“. These include:
- electronic devices/components and related equipment
- computers and related equipment
- telecommunications and information security equipment
- sensors and lasers
- navigation and avionics equipment
- marine vessels and equipment
- aerospace and propulsion equipment, including engines and aircraft
Exceptions: personal effects, consumer communication devices and software updates
For more information on the specific regulations, refer to Schedule 2A of the Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations
Implication: Researchers at HEIs dealing in the exports of any of the listed items or related software and technology for research or commercial purposes will no longer be able to export these items to Russia, to any persons connected with Russia or if the items were intended to be used in Russia. Due diligence and rigorous checks are advised to ensure compliance with the sanctions.
March 7: Trade sanctions – aviation and space goods or technology
A prohibition has also been placed on the export of certain specified aviation and space goods or technology.
Implication: Researchers at HEIs dealing in the exports of any of the listed items or related software and technology for research or commercial purposes will no longer be able to export these items to Russia, to any of the person connected with Russia or if the items were meant to be used in Russia. Due diligence and rigorous checks are advised to ensure compliance with the sanctions.
For more information on the relevant regulations please review the Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) (Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations 2022
March 27: Research and innovation sanctions
The Minister for Science, Research & Innovation on behalf of the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy announced through a statement the suspension of publicly funded research and innovation collaborations with Russian Universities and companies of strategic benefit to the Russian state. In particular:
- Payments for projects delivered through UK public research funds with a Russian dimension have been paused.
- An assessment has been introduced in addition to the existing due diligence processes of UK public research funders, to isolate and freeze activities which benefit the Russian regime.
- Funding of any new collaborative projects with Russia through UK research and innovation organisations has been suspended.
- Existing government to government dialogue through the UK’s science and innovation network team in Russia including their collaborative science projects has been suspended.
Implications: Researchers at UK HEIs must keep track and ensure, through the existing and new due diligence assessments, that any collaborations with Russian entities, individuals or HEIs is in compliance with the sanctions. They must also ensure that no new collaborative projects are undertaken.
April 14: Trade restrictions – oil refining and quantum computing goods/technology
Prohibition on the export/supply/delivery etc. of oil refining and quantum computing goods/technology.
This includes a prohibition on related technical assistance, financial services, funds and brokering services.
Implications: Researchers at HEIs dealing in the exports of any of the listed items or related software and technology for research or commercial purposes will no longer be able to export these items to Russia, to any person connected with Russia or if the items were meant to be used in Russia. Due diligence and rigorous checks are advised to ensure compliance with the sanctions.
For more information on the relevant regulations please review the Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) (Amendment) (No. 8) Regulations 2022
Support available from Edinburgh Research Office
Please visit our website for more information with respect to the university’s Export Control policies and procedures.
For any assistance with respect to Export Controls and Sanctions, please contact us via email@example.com.
For general information on due diligence processes around international projects, please visit our website.
 “connected with Russia” means:
- an individual/group of individuals who are ordinarily resident or located in Russia
- an entity which is incorporated/constituted under Russian law or domiciled in Russia.
 “technical assistance” means (a) technical support relating to the repair, development, production, assembly, testing, use or maintenance of the goods or technology, or (b) any other technical service relating to the goods or technology.
 “aviation and space goods or technology” – specified in Schedule 2C of The Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (as amended). Includes “any tangible storage medium on which aviation and space technology is recorded“.