On 24.03.2022 KPMG Law and AmCham Germany hosted an Expert webinar on “New Russia – EU Sanctions: Implications for the Transatlantic Business Community”. Beginning their initial remarks, the distinguished experts highlighted, that the issue of Russia – EU sanctions is still highly dynamic. They encouraged everyone to keep track of all changes that are being made, to stay ahead of the game and not get into legal trouble, by accidently not abiding with the Western sanction regime.
Anne-Kathrin Gillig, Partner, Head of Foreign Trade Law, gave an overview of the status of the European sanctions and the legal consequences of a sanction violation. In particular, the sanctions include a ban on overflying EU airspace, a ban on transactions with the Russian Central Bank and the exclusion of certain Russian banks from the SWIFT system. She underscored that generally speaking, there is no Russia embargo in place per-se and that some sectors might still be able to do business with entities located in Russia.
Dirk- Henning Meier, Senior Manager, described the impact on energy supply and on price development, and explained sanctions against energy suppliers, possible solutions and price adjustments in the context of energy contracts, as well as security of supply. He highlighted that in the current situation there is still enough gas available, but that it is a question of pricing. Mr. Meier further gave an outlook on what lies ahead for the global gas market.
Dr. Dr. Boris Schilmar, Partner, Head of International Business Legal, outlined the impact on ongoing M&A transactions with and in Russia and partner screening for joint ventures and showed possibilities for restructuring companies with Russian participation.
The consequences on supply chains and logistics were shown by Dr. Christine Heeg-Weimann, LL.M. (Sydney), Partner, Head of Commercial Law, Country Practice Head Russia /CIS. A focus was placed on contract execution and design.
After these initial remarks by the distinguished experts from KPMG Law, the audience had the chance to pose questions during a Q&A session. Questions ranged from the prospect of arbitration to more specific ones, e.g. what corporations should do first when assessing their existing business relations with Russian entities.