RS Brief news Dima Yakovlev law’s impact on business

Dima Yakovlev law’s impact on business

On January 1st the law unofficially called ‘The Dima Yakovlev law’ took effect. Its most hotly discussed point is the ban on US citizens from adopting children who are Russian citizens. However, this is just one of its many points. In actuality, there are other norms in the law regarding foreign organizations and foreign citizens economic activities in the Russian Federation. What threats does the ‘Dima Yakovlev’ law pose for business?

Besides the ban on adoption, in Law N 272 dated 28.12.2012 ‘On measures for influencing people involved in violating the fundamental human rights and freedoms and Russian citizens’ rights and freedoms’ (that’s how the law is officially called), the following limitations for US citizens have been established: ban on entering the country, ban on property management including arrest of such property, ban on investments, ban on performing transactions, ban on conducting activities by legal entities’ under their control and a ban on taking part in managing Russian organizations.

However, all these bans are not applicable for all US citizens, but merely for those who are included in a special list which the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been instructed to draft. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs can only include those who have violated fundamental human rights, committed a crime against a Russian citizen and has made decisions on behalf of the government which, according to the Russian Federation, violate the rights and interests of Russian citizens and organizations protected under law.

Simply stated, only criminals and civil servants can be included in the list.

Yet another sphere which falls under the jurisdiction of the ‘Dima Yakovlev law’ is the activities of non-commercial political organizations funded by the US. The activities of such organizations are to be suspended by the Russian Ministry of Justice.

As we can see, ‘Dima Yakovlev’ does in no way impact regular business and can only pertain to American businessmen only if they committed any crimes against Russian citizens (in exceptional cases). ‘DimaYakovlev’ sanctions do not threaten the main bulk of foreign business. Also, one should keep in mind that currently the list of people subject to sanctions has not even been drafted and the procedure for approving it hasn’t be outlined. RS