2024 Euro SIFMANet Summit, Riga: Data Sharing and Sanctions Against Russia

Read Full Report(PDF 307KB)

Riga. Courtesy of Nenea hartia / Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 4.0

Roundtable discussions held in Riga in March 2024 highlighted the importance of data sharing in improving the effectiveness of sanctions against Russia.

Following the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, unprecedented and comprehensive sanctions have been imposed on it. Among the measures taken in the first several months of the war were the immobilisation of the Bank of Russia’s reserves, sanctions on several large Russian financial institutions and their disconnection from SWIFT, the EU’s embargo on Russian oil, the G7 oil price cap regime, and comprehensive export controls on dual-use goods. More restrictions have been added since. However, the focus of the work of governments, think tanks and wider civil society has shifted to questions of implementation and enforcement. As the Russia sanctions regime is likely to remain in place for years, these issues will continue to play a major role. In addition, they are of utmost importance for the future credibility of sanctions beyond the Russia case.

The coalition’s actions have had a significant impact on Russia – curtailing export earnings, reducing policy space and limiting access to critical inputs for its military industry. But clearly, they have not succeeded yet at achieving their ultimate objective: to bring the war to an end and rein in the threat to peace and prosperity in Europe – as well as to the rules-based international order – that Russia poses. In fact, serious issues hinder effective implementation and enforcement of key measures such as the oil price cap and export controls. Over a period of more than two years, the RUSI-led European Sanctions and Illicit Finance Monitoring and Analysis Network (SIFMANet) has contributed to efforts aimed at understanding which sanctions work, which are plagued by practical challenges, and what needs to be done to improve their effectiveness and ensure their credibility.

Previous SIFMANet events have established that all stakeholders – whether governments monitoring sanctions circumvention and evasion, private sector actors seeking to ensure their compliance with the restrictions, or civil society attempting to shed light on key developments – need more and better data. To gain further insights on this issue, the Centre for Finance and Security at RUSI hosted a roundtable discussion in Riga in March 2024, with the support of the Financial Intelligence Unit of Latvia, the National Endowment for Democracy and the Latvian Institute of International Affairs. The event gathered experts from public and private sectors across Europe to explore, under the Chatham House rule, the critical importance of data sharing and develop proposals for improvements in this area. This report summarises the main findings from the discussion.


Explore our related content