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Course Application


Prof. Laura Brank, Managing Partner of Dechert, Moscow

Prof. Brank introduces the course (note: video was produced in 2017)

Since March 2014, the US, the EU and certain other countries have imposed a series of complex sanctions on Russian and Ukrainian individuals and legal entities.  These sanctions, which range from complete bans on doing business to restrictions on financing specified entities or providing equipment and technology to sectors of the Russian economy, have had a material impact on trade and investment in Russia, and will continue to affect commercial relations well into the future.  Notwithstanding extensive press on the sanctions, many commentators/analysts/investors still do not understand how these unique sanctions actually work, and companies remain uncertain as to how to navigate around the sanctions regimes and how to protect themselves from penalties or fines when conducting business. 

This twelve hour, one credit course, held in four, three-hour sessions, covers the history and legislative basis for sanctions, including the new CAATSA sanctions, the types of sanctions imposed, including import and export controls, case studies involving companies and individuals fined for sanctions violations, how companies can best protect themselves and navigate around sanctions and how sanctions may be lifted in the future.  We will look mainly at US sanctions, but will also cover EU sanctions, Russian sanctions and UN sanctions and what measures companies can put in place in order to ensure they do not run afoul of sanctions.

Approximate Schedule of Topics:

Class 1

  • Introduction to the history, purpose and legal structures of international economic sanctions
  • Overview of the organizations that administer sanctions in the US
  • Review the current US sanctions regime and how sanctions imposed on Russian parties differ from sanctions imposed by the US on Iran, Cuba, North Korea and other sanctioned countries
  • Discuss differences between types of sanctions

Class 2

  • Briefly review and clarify any questions from class one or the readings
  • Focus on sectoral sanctions and case studies
  • Practical aspects of sanctions compliance, such as KYC procedures, contractual protections and other strategies for avoiding sanctions penalties
  • Recent US legislation codifying Russia related sanctions

Class 3

  • EU sanctions regime and case studies
  • Examine EU and US export controls
  • Examine UN sanctions on certain countries and how this affects Russian business trade in those countries
  • Review sanctions imposed by Russia on other countries

Class 4

  • Discuss current trends related to application of sanctions
  • Examine the process for removing a party from the sanctions list in the US and EU
  • Consider prospects for termination of sanctions generally
  • Wrap up and predictions for the future


The materials will be provided electronically via Moodle. There is no book to be purchased, although some books and paid on-line materials may be recommended.

Attendance Policy:
This course is offered credit/no-credit only. There is no exam, although there may be some pass/no pass quizzes in class to encourage you to do the readings and stimulate discussion. 90% attendance is required to get credit for the course. There are only 4 classes, so it's not outrageous to ask you to attend them all. This means that you have attend 11 out of the 12 hours. If you are regularly late for 15 minutes or a half hour, this could affect your ability to pass the class. If force majeure or employers cause you to miss more than that, please talk to the professor immediately to see what can be done to make up the time.

Recording Policy:
This class applies Chatham House Rules: no private recordings are allowed, and remarks made by members of the class should not be attributed to the person making the remarks. There won't be an official recording unless the professor is asked in advance by someone with an attendance problem. In this case the professor will control the recording and possibly turn it off at some points during the class. Any such recording must be listened to at some scheduled time at Pericles rather than taken home, and it will be deleted soon after the end of the course.

Some guest speakers and students may want to raise sensitive situations regarding their own companies and clients, and this interesting discussion can be stifled if someone is recording the lecture. So please respect this policy so that everyone can feel comfortable bringing up real questions and proposed solutions.

Admission to the Course:
This course is taught entirely in English. Admission to Pericles' LLM program, or an interview in English is required to enter the course. Pericles cannot accept into this course anyone whose course is being paid by an individual or entity blocked by U.S. sanctions. Persons whose tuition is being paid by entities that are only on the sectoral sanctions list, however, can be admitted.