On 31 July 2014 the EU adopted Council Regulation (EU) No 833/2014 (the Regulation) which sets out a package of restrictive measures targeting sectorial cooperation and exchanges with the Russian Federation. The measures are aimed at limiting access to EU capital markets for Russian State-owned financial institutions, an embargo on trade in arms, an export ban for dual use goods for military end use and end users, and restrictions on access to certain sensitive technologies particularly in the oil sector. This package of measures were further extended on 8 September 2014 by Council Regulation (EU) No 960/2014 and amended on 4 December 2014 by the adoption of Council Regulation (EU) No 1290/2014.
The European Commission has now published a guidance note which is intended to shed light on its understanding of a number of the Regulation’s provisions (particularly Article 5 – financial services measures). The guidance note is set out in the form of answers to certain questions that have been brought to the Commission’s attention. Should further questions arise, the Commission may revise or extend the questions and answers provided.