Criminal Liability for Performing in Line with Sanctions Imposed on Russia

01 June 2022
Ellina Izotkina
Senior Associate
Anzhelika Kalashyan
Junior Associate

Under the bill “On Amendments to Article 201 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation”1 (the “Bill”), introduced to the State Duma on April 7, 2022, it is proposed to bring to criminal liability for the performing in line with sanctions imposed on Russian persons:

  • a person should exercise abuse of authority and perform management functions in an organization

  • they use powers contrary to legitimate interests of this organization

  • their actions are aimed at deriving benefits and advantages for themselves or other persons or causing harm to other persons, as well as at enforcing the decision of a foreign state, an alliance of foreign states or an international organization to impose restrictive measures against the Russian Federation

  • their actions caused significant harm to the rights and legitimate interests of citizens or organizations or the legally protected interests of society or the state

“Significant harm” is subject to judicial review on a case-by-case basis. The following facts should be brought to the judge’s attention: amount of affected persons, severity of damage, degree of negative impact on normal operation of an organization (for example, when the act caused suspension/bankruptcy of the organization’s activities, undermined its business reputation), should be considered2.

Furthermore, the following persons may be held liable for the act provided for by the Bill: a sole executive body, or a member of the BoD, or other executive body of the organization, or a person who permanently, temporarily or by special authority performs organizational or administrative functions in the organization3 (for example, director, CEO, member of the management board of a joint-stock company, chairman of a production or consumer cooperative, head of a public association, religious organization4).

If these amendments are adopted, criminal liability for such acts would be established in the following amount:

  • fine of up to 1 million rubles, or the salary of the convicted person for a period of up to 5 years;

  • forced labor for up to 5 years with disqualification for up to 3 years;

  • imprisonment for up to 10 years with disqualification for up to 3 years.

1The draft federal law No. 102053-8 “On Amendments to Article 201 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation”
2Paragraph 6 of Resolution of the Plenum of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation No. 21 of June 29, 2021 “On Certain Issues of Judicial Practice in Cases of Crimes against the Interests of Service in Commercial and Other Organizations (Articles 201, 201.1, 202, 203 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation)”
3Note 1 to Article 201 of Criminal Code of the Russian Federation No. 63-FZ of June 13, 1996
4Paragraph 11 of Resolution of the Plenum of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation of No. 19 October 16, 2009 “On judicial practice in cases of abuse of official powers and misuse of official powers”