OFSI publishes Annual Review

According to the Annual Review of the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) for 2021-22, the UK and its allies have imposed the most severe sanctions Russia has ever faced, sanctioning more than 1,200 individuals and more than 120 entities. The Review reveals that, since Russia began its illegal invasion of Ukraine, £18.39 billion of Russian assets have been frozen, including the assets of 19 Russian banks with global assets of £940 billion.

OFSI helps to ensure that financial sanctions are properly understood, implemented and enforced. An asset freeze prevents UK citizens and businesses from dealing with any economic resources that are owned, held or controlled by designated persons. It also prevents funds being provided to, or for the benefit of, designated persons.

In line with legislation, OFSI has granted general and specific licences, where appropriate. Such licences are often for basic needs and legal fees, and have helped UK individuals and businesses to function throughout a challenging period.

The OFSI annual review was published on 10 November 2022. It also explains the travel ban, which means that excluded persons must be refused entry to (and may not remain in) the UK, and the transport sanctions, which make it a criminal offence for any Russian aircraft to fly or land in the UK and for Russian ships to enter UK ports.

Although the Annual Review covers the period from April 2021 to August 2022, due to the importance of financial sanctions in the UK’s response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the review provides a particular focus on the period from 24 February 2022 to 24 August 2022, ie the first six months of the war.