The Growing Russia Sanctions and Declining Cuba Sanctions

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Major developments in the world of U.S. economic sanctions have changed the sanctions landscape.  Russia faces new and growing sanctions based on its invasion and annexation of Crimea.  At the opposite end of the spectrum, there is a move to begin normalizing relations with Cuba.

The Russia sanctions impact substantially how U.S. businesses can do business with Russia.  With the most recent additions to the sanctions program in December 2014, the Russian sanctions are among the most complex ever, even more so for multinational businesses that must also comply with Russia sanction’s imposed by the E.U., Canada, Australia and Japan.  Understanding what business activities can continue and what cannot be done is crucial to avoid violations and the very substantial penalties that can be assessed.

The Cuba sanctions easing stands in sharp contrast to Russia.  The Cuba sanctions represent the oldest U.S. embargo, and in December 2014 the President announced his intention to begin normalizing relations with Cuba.  The embargo will unwind only slowly, however.   While there may be actions that businesses can undertake to be in a position to take advantage of eventual trade liberalization, until that occurs, actual business opportunities are likely to be limited.

Educational Objectives:
• Understand what the Russia sanctions rules allow and do not allow, and how to manage risk and continue to operate in Russia without violating the sanctions 
• Understand the limitations that may apply to U.S. persons who may be supporting business activity in Russia as part of multinational business operations 
• Learn the most recent developments in the Cuban embargo relaxation, and what to expect next
• Be able to advise business executives on how they can prepare for the lifting of Cuba sanctions in a compliant way under current laws and regulations

Who would benefit most from attending this program?
Practitioners and compliance professionals, particularly in-house counsel, for companies involved in or that are considering entering the Russian market.  Businesses dealing with the Russian government, the oil and gas, financial, and/or defense sectors are particularly affected. Practitioners and compliance personnel for any company interested in entering the Cuban market in any sector would also benefit from this webinar.



Amanda is the Chair of the Hughes Hubbard & Reed’s International Trade Department, which was recently recognized by Chambers as one of the leading international trade departments in the country. Ms. DeBusk concentrates on export controls and sanctions, trade remedies, customs, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and market access.  Her sanctions expertise is rooted in her background as former Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement at the U.S. Commerce Department, where she handled civil and criminal enforcement matters and voluntary disclosures, including sanctions enforcement. She has advised clients in a wide variety of industries and has handled trade matters involving almost all parts of the world. Ms. DeBusk serves on the U.S. Department of State’s Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy: Sanctions Subcommittee.

Ms. DeBusk received her B.A. from the University of Richmond, summa cum laude, and her J.D. from Harvard Law School.


Alan Kashdan, special counsel, has over 30 years of experience in international trade matters, representing clients in a wide range of regulatory export compliance matters.  He advises clients on sanctions and export controls; matters involving U.S. Customs laws and regulations; U.S. government rules and regulations on procurement from foreign sources; Foreign Military Sales; anti-corruption issues; and issues arising from foreign acquisitions of U.S. companies (including military contractors).  Mr. Kashdan was an adjunct professor at George Washington University’s government contracts program, where he has taught, among other issues, U.S. export controls, U.S. sanctions under the Trading with the Enemy Act (TWEA) and International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), antiboycott regulations, and the FCPA.

Mr. Kashdan received his B.A. from Princeton University, magna cum laude, and his J.D. from Harvard Law School, cum laude.