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Self-sanctioning Russia

Private Supplements to Public Regulation Commercial actors around the world are reacting to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by voluntarily reducing their exposure to Russia-connected trades. Although the economic sanctions imposed by the EU, UK, US, Japan, and other major powers have been rapid and sweeping, the deliberate choice by the business community to willingly de-couple from Russia-linked transactions has further amplified the force of the collective response. As sanctioning authorities bar a range of private sector activities with a Russia nexus, commercial entities have mobilized to wind down operations, cancel projects, divert resources, and re-calibrate risk mitigation and due diligence processes in efforts to stay in sanctions compliance. But parallel to these compliance initiatives, businesses have also voluntarily distanced themselves from the Russian economy, even in sectors outside the scope of the sanctions. These “self-sanctions” or “moral sanctions” reflect an advancing dynamic in economic warfare. Not only are sovereign states and supranational organizations designing and implementing economic measures to punish and deter Russian aggression, private actors, too, are adding layers of…

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Is There a Legal Duty to Cooperate in Implementing Western Sanctions on Russia?

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the United States, Europe and other allies imposed sanctions on Russia for violating the prohibition against the use of force, a peremptory norm owed to the international community as a whole. While the ability of these sanctions per se to put a swift end to Russia’s invasion has been doubted (see…

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Legal Justification for FIFA and UEFA’s Ban on Russian National Football and Club Teams

Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine has invited global censure. States have resorted to sanctions against Russian institutions and individuals. Response by non-state actors includes MNCs suspending their operations, boycotts, condemnations, cancellation of cultural events and banning of Russian athletes and teams from participating in international sports. On 28 February 2022, FIFA…

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Russian Assets, Accountability for Ukraine, and a Plea for Short-Term Thinking

The viciousness of the Russian armed attack on Ukraine means that avenues for accountability are at a premium. Ukraine’s major cities, including Kyiv, Kharkiv and Chernihiv, had been withstanding a days-long barrage of indiscriminate shelling and missile strikes. War crimes have evidently been committed while Russian state…

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Open Letter to my Russian Friends: Ukraine is Not Crimea

In reaction to the incorporation of Crimea into the Russian Federation, I had written that the use of Russian armed force against Ukraine is contrary to one of the most fundamental principles of contemporary international law and can be qualified as an “aggression” (Le Monde, 14 March 2014). This applies all the more to the use of armed…

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