Consequences of the sanctions imposed on Russia
As a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the UK, along with the US, EU, Canada, Switzerland and others, has responded by imposing far reaching sanctions on Russia.
Some of the key sanctions are:
- The Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the Russian National Wealth Fund, and the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation can no longer participate in the UK financial markets.
- Transferable securities can no longer be issued by Russian companies and the Russian state cannot raise sovereign debt in the UK.
- The UK will prevent designated Russian banks from processing any payments through the UK.
- Increased trade restrictions against Russia.
The immediate impact on UK businesses is that there is now a requirement on them to conduct increased due diligence. When taking on new customers or clients, businesses will have to look out for any connection to Russia that could potentially be covered by the sanctions and, if any is identified, take appropriate steps to ensure compliance with the sanctions.
From an employment perspective, it is paramount that employers should not treat any Russian employees they may have less favourably because of their nationality, nor should they tolerate or condone other members of their staff doing so. If a Russian employee is subject to less favourable treatment or unwanted conduct because of the war, employers must take this seriously as such treatment could constitute race discrimination or harassment. This could also apply where an employee is treated differently because someone thinks they are Russian, even though they are not.