The government’s ability to impose sanctions has existed for decades. For example, in the past, the U.S. government has imposed sanctions relating to Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Venezuela. In fact, the more recent sanctions imposed in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are not the first sanctions the U.S. has imposed relating to Russia. Thus, the latest round of sanctions imposed against various Russian individuals, entities, activities and sectors is not a novel development, but the breadth of the sanctions and the global coordination in imposing them does distinguish them from prior iterations. What does that mean for private fund managers? This first article in a three-part series explains how sanctions regimes work. The second article will discuss how sanctions can impact a private fund manager’s investors and investments – including what to do if an investor or investment is subject to sanctions – while the third article will explore what managers should do to ensure they comply with sanctions and have sufficient protections in their fund documents. See our two-part series on navigating sanctions regimes: “U.S. and U.K.” (Feb. 11, 2021); and “The E.U. and Hot Sanctions Arenas” (Feb. 18, 2021).