Press release, 11.08.2014

Norway to implement new restrictive measures against Russia

‘The Government will align itself with the EU’s new restrictive measures against Russia. Since the start of the crisis in Ukraine, Norway has stood united with the EU and other like-minded countries in responding to Russia’s violations of international law. We will do so this time as well,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

In response to Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol and the destabilisation of eastern Ukraine, the EU has adopted restrictive measures against Russia. The situation in Ukraine has deteriorated further during the past few weeks.

‘Even after the tragedy of the Malaysian airliner that was shot down on 17 July, Russia has not changed its course, but has continued to destabilise the eastern part of Ukraine. This has resulted in the EU and the US introducing extensive restrictive measures against Russia, as they had warned that they would in the event of further destabilisation.

‘Norway will introduce the same measures as those adopted by the EU on 31 July. These measures are a response to Russia’s violation of fundamental principles of the UN Charter. Despite massive international pressure, Russia has not demonstrated any willingness to change its actions in Ukraine, which are in violation of international law,’ said Foreign Minister Brende.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will open a service telephone line on Wednesday 13 August to meet the business sector’s need for information about the new measures.

‘The Ministry has recently held a number of meetings with representatives from the Norwegian business sector about the restrictive measures now being adopted. Feedback from the business sector is important for our dialogue with the EU to clarify the details of the measures. The measures leave room for discretion, and we will use our discretion,’ said Mr Brende. 

The Norwegian Parliament (‘Storting’) has been consulted on this matter.

These are the main points included in the measures:

  • The list of individuals and entities subject to asset-freeze measures and travel restrictions will be extended, and the criteria for being included on the list will be expanded.
  • A ban on imports from Crimea and Sevastopol will be introduced; for the same area, it will be prohibited to issue loans or other forms of credit for the development of infrastructure in the transport, telecommunications and energy sectors, it will be prohibited to issue loans or other forms of credit for the exploitation of oil, gas or mineral resources, and the sale or export of key equipment or technology to these sectors in Crimea or Sevastopol will be prohibited.
  • The import and export of arms and defence-related products (List I) to and from Russia and the export of dual-use items and technology (List II) for military end-use in Russia will be prohibited.
  • Buying or selling new bonds, equity or similar financial instruments with a maturity exceeding 90 days issued by five listed Russian financial institutions will be prohibited.
  • Prior authorisation by the Norwegian authorities will be required for the export of certain categories of goods to the Russian petroleum sector. It will be prohibited to export products that are to be used for deep water oil exploration and production, Arctic oil exploration and production, or in shale oil projects in Russia. This ban will apply to new contracts only. Prior authorisation will also be required for financing and services related to these categories of goods.

The Norwegian authorities will shortly clarify the details of the measures that allow discretion, in close consultation with the EU.