Regulations Amending the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations: SOR/2022-262

Canada Gazette, Part II, Volume 156, Number 26

SOR/2022-262 December 7, 2022


P.C. 2022-1302 December 7, 2022

Whereas the Governor in Council is of the opinion that gross and systemic human rights violations have been committed in the Russian Federation;

Therefore, Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, makes the annexed Regulations Amending the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations under subsections 4(1)footnote a, (1.1)footnote b, (2)footnote c and (3) of the Special Economic Measures Act footnote d.

Regulations Amending the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations


1 Sections 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7, 3.8, 3.9 and 3.10 of the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations footnote 1 are renumbered as sections 3.01, 3.02, 3.03, 3.04, 3.05, 3.06, 3.07, 3.08, 3.09 and 3.1, respectively.

2 The heading of Part 1 of Schedule 1 to the Regulations is replaced by the following:

Individuals — Grave Breach of International Peace and Security

3 Part 1.1 of Schedule 1 to the Regulations is amended by adding the following in numerical order:

4 The heading of Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Regulations is replaced by the following:

Entities — Grave Breach of International Peace and Security

5 Schedule 1 to the Regulations is amended by adding the following after Part 2:

Entities — Gross Human Rights Violations

6 Schedule 2 to the Regulations is amended by replacing the references after the heading “SCHEDULE 2” with the following:

(Sections 1, 2.1, 3.01, 3.02 and 8)

7 Schedule 3 to the Regulations is amended by replacing the references after the heading “SCHEDULE 3” with the following:

(Sections 1, 2.1, 3.01 and 8)

8 Schedule 4 to the Regulations is amended by replacing the reference after the heading “SCHEDULE 4” with the following:

(Subsection 3.03(1))

9 Schedule 5 to the Regulations is amended by replacing the reference after the heading “SCHEDULE 5” with the following:

(Subsection 3.05(1))

10 Schedule 5.1 to the Regulations is amended by replacing the references after the heading “SCHEDULE 5.1” with the following:

(Subsections 3.06(1) and (2))

11 Schedule 6 to the Regulations is amended by replacing the references after the heading “SCHEDULE 6” with the following:

(Subsections 3.08(1) and (3))

12 Schedule 7 to the Regulations is amended by replacing the reference after the heading “SCHEDULE 7” with the following:

(Subsection 3.09(1))

13 Schedule 8 to the Regulations is amended by replacing the reference after the heading “SCHEDULE 8” with the following:

(Section 3.1)

Application Before Publication

14 For the purpose of paragraph 11(2)(a) of the Statutory Instruments Act, these Regulations apply according to their terms before they are published in the Canada Gazette.

Coming into Force

15 These Regulations come into force on the day on which they are registered.


(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)


The Russian Federation continues to commit gross and systematic human rights violations in Russia. This domestic oppression is closely linked to its aggression in Ukraine.


Following Russia’s illegal occupation and attempted annexation of Crimea in March 2014, the Canadian government, in tandem with partners and allies, enacted sanctions through the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations under the Special Economic Measures Act (SEMA). These sanctions impose dealings prohibitions (an effective asset freeze) on designated individuals and entities in Russia and Ukraine supporting or enabling Russia’s violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty. Any person in Canada and Canadians outside Canada are thereby prohibited from dealing in the property of, entering into transactions with, providing services to, or otherwise making goods available to listed persons.

In late fall of 2021, after months of escalatory behaviour, Russia began massing troops, military equipment and military capabilities on Ukraine’s borders and around Ukraine. The build-up lasted into February 2022, eventually totalling 150 000–190 000 troops. On February 15, 2022, the Russian Duma (equivalent to the Canadian House of Commons) voted to ask President Putin to recognize the so-called Luhansk People’s Republic and Donetsk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine, further violating Ukraine’s sovereignty as well as the Minsk agreements intended to bring about a peaceful resolution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine. On February 18, 2022, Russia-backed “so-called authorities” ordered the evacuation of women and children from the region, as well as the conscription of men aged 18 to 55. On February 20, 2022, Russia extended a joint military exercise with Belarus and announced that Russian troops would not leave Belarus. On February 21, 2022, following a meeting of the Russian Security Council, President Putin signed decrees recognizing the “independence” and “sovereignty” of the so-called Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) and Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR). Immediately following this, President Putin ordered Russian forces to perform “peacekeeping functions” in the so-called LPR and DPR regions. He also expressly abandoned the Minsk agreements, declaring them “non-existent.” On February 22, 2022, Russia’s Duma granted President Putin permission to use military force outside the country. Uniformed Russian troops and armoured vehicles then moved into the Donetsk and Luhansk regions for the first time under official orders. On February 24, 2022, President Putin announced a “special military operation” as Russian forces launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The invasion began with targeted strikes on key Ukrainian military infrastructure and the incursion of Russian forces into Ukraine in the north from Russia and Belarus, in the east from Russia and the so-called LPR and DPR regions, and in the south from Crimea.

The deterioration of Russia’s relations with Ukraine has paralleled the worsening of its relations with the United States (U.S.) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which has led to heightened tensions.

International response

Since the beginning of the current crisis, Canada and the international community have been calling on Russia to de-escalate, pursue diplomatic channels, and demonstrate transparency in military activities. Diplomatic negotiations have been taking place along several tracks, including via (1) United States–Russia bilateral talks (e.g. the Strategic Stability Dialogue); (2) NATO; (3) the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE); and (4) the Normandy Four format (Ukraine, Russia, Germany, France) for the implementation of the Minsk agreements.

On February 21, 2022, G7 Foreign Affairs ministers released a statement condemning Russian recognition of the so-called LPR and DPR regions and stating that they were preparing to step up restrictive measures to respond to Russia’s actions, while reaffirming their unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. G7 Foreign Affairs ministers and NATO leaders continue to be united in promising significant consequences for Russia.

In September 2022, a report by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights drew a direct link between systematic human rights violations and repression inside Russia, and its war of aggression against Ukraine. Also in September 2022, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) expressed concerns about the large number of people arrested for protesting the partial mobilization of troops in the context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, calling for the immediate release of those arbitrarily detained.

Canada’s response

Canada continues to strongly condemn Russia’s behaviour toward Ukraine. Canada has announced several contributions to support Ukraine, including humanitarian, development, resilience, security, human rights and stabilization programming in Ukraine. This represents over $600 million since January 2022. To support Ukraine’s economic resilience, Canada also offered up to $1.45 billion in additional loan resources to the Ukrainian government through a new Administered Account for Ukraine at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which have been fully disbursed.

Canada also sent weapons such as rocket launchers, hand grenades, anti-armour weapons, and ammunition to support Ukraine. These contributions are in addition to more than $57 million in military equipment that Canada has provided Ukraine from 2015 to 2021, and the expansion of Canada’s commitment to Operation REASSURANCE, the Canadian Armed Forces’ contribution to NATO assurance and deterrence measures in Central and Eastern Europe.

Since February 24, 2022, the Government of Canada has enacted a number of punitive measures, and imposed severe extensive economic sanctions, against Russia for its war of aggression against Ukraine. Since the start of the crisis, under SEMA, Canada has sanctioned over 1 500 individuals and entities in Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine. This includes senior members of the Russian government, including President Putin and members of the Duma, the Federation Council and the Security Council, military officials and oligarchs (namely Roman Abramovich, the Rotenberg brothers, Oleg Deripaska, Alisher Usmanov, Gennady Timchenko, Yevgeny Prigozhin), and their family members.

Canada also targeted Russia’s ability to access the global financial system, raise or transfer funds, and maintain funds in Canadian dollars by sanctioning several core Russian financial institutions, including Sberbank, VTB, and VEB, as well as the Central Bank of Russia, the Ministry of Finance and the National Wealth Fund. Canada also successfully advocated for the removal of several Russian banks from the SWIFT payment system.

Furthermore, Canada implemented measures to pressure the Russian economy and limit Russia’s trade with and from Canada. Russia’s economy depends heavily on the energy sector. Therefore, Canada moved ahead with a prohibition on the import of three distinct types of oil products, including crude oil, from Russia. Canada revoked Russia’s most favoured nation status, applying a 35% tariff on most imports from Russia. In response to Belarus’s support to Russia, Canada also revoked Belarus’s most favoured nation status.

Finally, Canada stopped the issuance of new permit applications and cancelled valid permits for exporting controlled military, strategic, and dual-use items to Russia, with exceptions for critical medical supply chains and humanitarian assistance.

These amendments to the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations build upon Canada’s existing sanctions by further impeding Russian dealings with Canada. These measures are being taken in coordination with partners, including in the U.S., the United Kingdom (U.K.), the European Union (EU), Australia and Japan.

Conditions for imposing and lifting sanctions

Pursuant to SEMA, the Governor in Council may impose economic and other sanctions against foreign states, entities and individuals when, among other circumstances, a person has participated in gross and systematic human rights violations in Russia.

The duration of sanctions by Canada and like-minded partners has been explicitly linked to the peaceful resolution of the conflict, and the respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, within its internationally recognized borders, including Crimea, as well as Ukraine’s territorial sea. The U.S., the U.K., the EU and Australia have continued to update their sanction regimes against individuals and entities in both Ukraine and Russia.


  1. Condemn the ongoing human rights abuses taking place inside of Russia
  2. Target and impose further costs on those senior officials and institutions in Russia who repress Russian citizens’ human rights to oppose and protest Russian policies, including the illegal invasion of Ukraine, the mobilization of citizens to fight in Ukraine and anti-democratic measures.
  3. Align with actions taken by international partners to underscore continued unity with allies in responding to Russia’s domestic human rights abuses, which are connected to Russia’s aggressive actions in Ukraine.


The Regulations Amending the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations (the amendments) add 33 individuals and 6 entities to Schedule 1 of the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations, who are subject to a broad dealings ban. The individuals are former or current senior officials responsible for human rights violations connected to the systematic suppression of protest and opposition to Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine, forced mobilization and anti-democratic decisions of the Russian government. A number of these individuals are on the list of 6 000 corrupt officials listed by the organization of Alexi Navalny, the imprisoned anti-corruption activist and Russian opposition politician. One of the individuals was recently convicted by a Dutch court in the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH-17 over Ukraine in 2014. The entities are federal Russian institutions involved in the investigation, prosecution and detention of Russian citizens who seek to who oppose or criticize Russia’s policies in Ukraine. The amendments also rename the subsections of section 3 to ensure that there is a consistent numbering in the Regulations.

Regulatory development


Global Affairs Canada engages regularly with relevant stakeholders including civil society organizations, cultural communities and other like-minded governments, regarding Canada’s approach to sanctions implementation. Global Affairs research draws from analysis from pro-democracy movements inside and outside of Russia.

With respect to the amendments targeting individuals and entities, public consultation would not be appropriate, given the risk of asset flight and the urgency to impose these measures in response to the ongoing breach of international peace and security in Ukraine.

Modern treaty obligations and Indigenous engagement and consultation

An initial assessment of the geographical scope of the amendments was conducted and did not identify any modern treaty obligations, as the amendments do not take effect in a modern treaty area.

Instrument choice

Regulations are the sole method to enact sanctions in Canada. No other instrument could be considered.

Regulatory analysis

Benefits and costs

Sanctions targeting specific individuals and entities have less impact on Canadian businesses than traditional broad-based economic sanctions, and have limited impact on the citizens of the country of the listed individuals and entities. It is likely that the newly listed individuals and entities have limited linkages with Canada, and therefore do not have business dealings that are significant to the Canadian economy.

Canadian banks and financial institutions are required to comply with sanctions. They will do so by adding the newly listed individuals and entities to their existing monitoring systems, which may result in a minor compliance cost.

The amendments could create additional costs for businesses seeking permits that would authorize them to carry out specified activities or transactions that are otherwise prohibited.

Small business lens

Likewise, the amendments could create additional costs for small businesses seeking permits that would authorize them to carry out specified activities or transactions that are otherwise prohibited. However, costs will likely be low as it is unlikely that Canadian small businesses have or will have dealings with the newly listed individuals and entities. No significant loss of opportunities for small businesses is expected as a result of the amendments.

One-for-one rule

The permitting process for businesses meets the definition of “administrative burden” in the Red Tape Reduction Act and would need to be calculated and offset within 24 months. However, the amendments address an emergency circumstance and are therefore exempt from the requirement to offset administrative burden and regulatory titles under the one-for-one rule.

Regulatory cooperation and alignment

While the amendments are not related to a work plan or commitment under a formal regulatory cooperation forum, they align with actions taken by Canada’s allies.

Strategic environmental assessment

The amendments are unlikely to result in important environmental effects. In accordance with the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals, a preliminary scan concluded that a strategic environmental assessment is not required.

Gender-based analysis plus (GBA+)

The subject of economic sanctions has previously been assessed for effects on gender and diversity. Although intended to facilitate a change in behaviour through economic pressure on individuals and entities in foreign states, sanctions under SEMA can nevertheless have an unintended impact on certain vulnerable groups and individuals. Rather than affecting Russia as a whole, these targeted sanctions impact individuals believed to be engaged in activities that directly or indirectly support, provide funding for or contribute to a violation of the sovereignty or territorial integrity of Ukraine. Therefore, these sanctions are unlikely to have a significant impact on vulnerable groups as compared to traditional broad-based economic sanctions directed toward a state, and limit the collateral effects to those dependent on those targeted individuals and entities.


The amendments seek to impose a direct economic cost on Russia and signal Canada’s strong condemnation of Russia’s violations of its international human rights obligations. The 33 individuals and 6 entities that have been listed are significant actors in Russia’s domestic security and justice sector with responsibility for repressing domestic opposition to Russia’s illegal invasion of Russia, mobilization of 300 000 Russian men to fight in Ukraine and ongoing anti-democratic decisions of the Putin regime.

The OSCE has found that by silencing domestic civic action and criticism of Russia’s war, Russian officials and elites seek to ensure they will not face domestic opposition while carrying out a foreign aggression. The OSCE reports that this repression stretches back over a decade and has intensified in recent years. One of the core pieces of legislation suppressing civil society activities is the so-called “foreign agents” law, which has been criticized by all international human rights monitoring bodies. After the illegal invasion of Ukraine, the Russian government made further amendments to this law to target criticism of its war and anti-war protests. As part of this, the Russian regime has attempted to outlaw the use of the word “war” and other criticisms of its invasion as disinformation and treason.

Russian citizens who engage in criticism and protest are subjected to further human rights violations once detained, including excessive violence and torture. These human rights violations are deep-rooted in Russia’s domestic security and justice sector and particularly harm members of minority ethnic groups and women. According to reports from NGOs such as Human Rights Watch, violations inside Russia’s penitentiary system have increased in the lead up to the illegal war in Ukraine, especially against Russians who protest the war and mobilization. Ukrainians forcibly moved to Russia for filtration purposes face similar conditions imposed by these same individuals and institutions. Russian penitentiaries further serve as recruitment grounds to address Russia’s worse-than-expected military performance in Ukraine, especially for the notorious PMC Wagner mercenary group, which is actively fighting in Ukraine, is accused of human rights abuses and has already been listed (no. 88) by Canada and its partners, along with the group’s owner, Yevgeny Prigozhin (no. 472).

These sanctions show Canada’s solidarity with like-minded countries, which are imposing similar restrictions. The addition of these individuals aligns with measures taken by partners.

Implementation, compliance and enforcement, and service standards

The amendments come into force on the day on which they are registered.

The names of the listed individuals and entities will be available online for financial institutions to review, and will be added to the Consolidated Canadian Autonomous Sanctions List. This will help to facilitate compliance with the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations.

Canada’s sanctions regulations are enforced by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). In accordance with section 8 of SEMA, every person who knowingly contravenes or fails to comply with the Regulations is liable, upon summary conviction, to a fine of not more than $25,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than one year, or to both; or, upon conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years.

The CBSA has enforcement authorities under SEMA and the Customs Act, and will play a role in the enforcement of these sanctions.


Andrew Turner
Eastern Europe and Eurasia Relations Division
Global Affairs Canada
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0G2
Telephone: 343‑203‑3603