Inga Mukāne: Renaissance of sanctions as the collective reaction towards the crisis in Ukraine

Today the topic of international sanctions in Europe is more important than ever. It is experiencing a renaissance as part of the collective reaction toward the crisis in Ukraine. In March, both the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia and the Financial and Capital Market Commission emphasized the theme of sanction application. Practical responsibility towards adhering to sanctions is given to the business and a question arises, whether providers of financial services, industrial and logistics companies, merchants and all other entrepreneurs are prepared to fulfil these sanctions on the ethical, technical and organizational levels? 

It is the legal obligation of all residents of the European Union and businesses to adhere to the restrictions imposed by the sanctions. Full adoption of this fact on the business level requires time and an in-depth understanding of the topic. This is probably the only way for the entrepreneur to accept that now additional time, money and human resources need to be spent to learn about the owners of one’s cooperation partners or customers, final beneficiaries of delivery chains or products, and many other nuances. 

Adopting those comes hand-in-hand with an awareness of one’s responsibility, together with a greater understanding of the global processes resulting in decisions on introducing sanctions. Sanctions are an instrument of foreign policy and a reaction towards global security challenges, including the fight against international terrorism, corruption, money laundering schemes, violations of human resources and others. 

Therefore, residing in the civilized world, one also needs to consider the additional work to get to know and comply with those laws. For that reason, the only way for the business to co-exist with the limitations of sanctions is by educating their employees. Employees well-versed in the essence of sanctions and related laws and regulations would be able to ensure both internal processes for the sanctions to be observed and business communication with state institutions and banks.

To provide detailed answers to most topics related to sanctions — how the sanction regimes are formed, what organizations must do to not violate the sanction laws, how to organize internal monitoring and research, how the IT systems can help — the largest international membership organization for Anti-Financial Crime professionals ACAMS several years ago developed a course called Certified Global Sanctions Specialist (CGSS). This course is available at the Riga Business School which is a partner of ACAMS and for many years already organises AML and sanction courses and preparation for the certification exam. Riga Business School offers this course to anyone who is interested in it, and to anyone who understands the importance of the sanctions topic on the global business scale. At the end of the course, you will need to pass the exam to receive the  Sanctions Specialist certificate.


Inga Mukāne, Financial crimes prevention expert,
Lecturer at Riga Business School