The primary document of the EU sanctions against Russia (COUNCIL REGULATION (EU) No 833/2014) uses the term "Russian person".

The recent directive COUNCIL DECISION (CFSP) 2022/1909 has phrase "Russian persons and residents".

However, the term "Russian person" is not defined. Does it simply mean Russian citizens? Are Russian citizens with temporary or permanent EU member state or EU residences exempt from this?


1 Answer 1


The expression "Russian person" appears in Article 11 of the original, which says

  1. No claims in connection with any contract or transaction the performance of which has been affected, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, by the measures imposed under this Regulation, including claims for indemnity or any other claim of this type, such as a claim for compensation or a claim under a guarantee, notably a claim for extension or payment of a bond, guarantee or indemnity, particularly a financial guarantee or financial indemnity, of whatever form, shall be satisfied, if they are made by:

(a) entities referred to in points (b) or (c) of Article 5, or listed in Annex III;

(b) any other Russian person, entity or body;

(c) any person, entity or body acting through or on behalf of one of the persons, entities or bodies referred to in points (a) or (b) of this paragraph

The "Whereas" clause first introduces the word "person" saying

Those measures comprise the freezing of funds and economic resources of certain natural and legal persons, entities and bodies and restrictions on certain investments, as a response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol

Article 2 then gives various prohibitions, which are broader that the March prohibitions against certain transactions "to any natural or legal person, entity or body in Russia or for use in Russia". Since the regulation applies to things that are not human and cannot be citizens, it does not mean "citizen". It does include "a human", as well as artificial persons such as corporations, or government bodies. A Russian citizen who lives and works entirely in e.g. Germany is not in the prohibited set if they are not shipping prohibited goods to Russia. The Syrian Commander-in-Chief of the PLA (who is not a resident of Russia) is, however, prohibited from obtaining "dual use goods" to be taken to and used in Russia.

Article 11 is different in wording from other articles stating various prohibitions, which repeat that long expression with "in Russia or for use in Russia". Art. 11 says that under certain circumstances, contract claims shall not be satisfied if the claims are made by

(a) entities referred to in points (b) or (c) of Article 5, or listed in Annex III;

(b) any other Russian person, entity or body;

Apart from the explicit list in Annex III, (b-c) or Art. 5 is

(b) a legal person, entity or body established outside the Union whose proprietary rights are owned for more than 50 %by an entity listed in Annex III; or

(c) a legal person, entity or body acting on behalf or at the direction of an entity referred to in point (b) of this paragraph or listed in Annex III.

Therefore, the expression "any other Russian person, entity or body" refers to something much more expansive. On the face of it, it has to mean that no "Russian person" in any sense can sue for non-performance arising from this regulation.

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