Russia’s February 2022 invasion of neighboring Ukraine sent shockwaves through the Western world.
In addition to creating international security concerns and fears of a humanitarian crisis, the war in Ukraine also has dramatically impacted nearly every sector of business in the U.S., UK and EU. Assumptions company leaders took for granted just a few short months ago may not hold true in this new and uncertain global reality. Womble Bond Dickinson attorneys on both sides of the Atlantic are examining the business implications of the war in Ukraine from many different angles and offering guidance to companies on how best to protect their interests and navigate this ever-evolving landscape.
Womble Bond Dickinson Partner Alan Enslen was a speaker at the Lex Mundi Sanctions Seminar, which took place June 30. The seminar focused on trending issues and common factors in economic and trade sanctions around the globe. These issues are particularly relevant in light of sanctions levied against Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.
While multi-national sanctions recently imposed on Russia were intended to punish Russia for its aggression in Ukraine, the effects of the sanctions have led to a need for tough decisions for U.S. entities with patent interests in Russia. U.S. entities engaged in patent transactions with Rospatent (the Russian patent office) only have a short time to make decisions about current and future patent activities in Russia.
So-called “Acts of War” long have been excluded from property insurance coverage, including cyberinsurance. But Russia’s ongoing war in the Ukraine has blurred the lines between cyberattacks and acts of war. Russia employs cyberattacks as a means of furthering its military goals, and as the U.S. is supporting Ukraine in the conflict, this means U.S. companies could be targeted in this new battlefield of cyberwarfare. If so, will such incidents be covered under cyberinsurance policies?
“Russia has successfully used social media to spread propaganda for years, but the Ukraine war has forced Big Tech to choose sides, with Russia punishing companies that promote news items that the Kremlin wants suppressed…. The widening rift between the Kremlin and Big Tech may lead to many U.S. companies abandoning Russia completely.”
Russia’s war in Ukraine is disrupting business worldwide, and U.S. tech companies are among the most heavily impacted. America’s tech giants are rapidly suspending functions in Russia, whether by their choice or the Kremlin’s. In addition, Russia is threatening to cease patent enforcement measures, which would allow Russian entities to steal Western IP without consequence. This could negatively impact a wide range of U.S. industries, including pharmaceuticals, technology and defense. Russia even may allow domestic businesses to co-opt Western trademarks to market and sell their own products.
President Joe Biden, in announcing the U.S. embargo against Russian oil, warned companies not to take advantage of the escalating crisis in Ukraine. Jeffrey Whittle, an Energy and Natural Resources Sector co-lead with Womble Bond Dickinson and managing partner of the firm’s Houston office, is quoted in the article.
In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, the U.S., U.K., and EU have implemented sweeping coordinated economic sanctions and export control restrictions targeting key industries, entities, and individuals in both Russia and Belarus. As the regulatory environment continues to rapidly evolve, this update details the international response and outlines essential compliance measures that global businesses need to implement in the short term.
As in the U.S., Russia’s war in Ukraine has introduced important questions about insurance coverage in the UK. Most insurance policies in the United Kingdom include a war exclusion, for example. But while the UK and her allies are supporting Ukraine, they aren’t actively at war, creating a gray area for insurance coverage.
"Due to the rapidly changing situation on the ground in Ukraine, the geo-political and regulatory responses from the U.S., U.K., EU, and global allies are evolving on a near daily basis."
The UK has been at the forefront of efforts to sanction Russian for its unjustified invasion of Ukraine. This article explains the scope of those sanctions, to whom they apply, the consequences of non-compliance, and how businesses need to respond.
While much of the news around Russia’s invasion of Ukraine understandably has centered on the military, humanitarian and geopolitical ramifications of Europe’s biggest conflict since World War II, the war’s significant and long term impact on energy supply should not be underestimated.