News · July 18, 2022

Abramovich sues against EU sanctions

The General Court of the European Union has to deal with lawsuits brought by four Russian oligarchs. The entrepreneurs deny that they are providing economic support for the Ukraine war and are calling for the EU sanctions imposed on them to be lifted.

Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich has filed a lawsuit against EU sanctions in the General Court of the European Union (EuG). This is reported, among other things, by the “Wall Street Journal”. In addition to Abramovich, three other Russian oligarchs are complaining. According to the report, they see their rights violated by the sanctions and reject accusations by Western governments that they have close ties to the Kremlin.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the EU has imposed sanctions on numerous Russian oligarchs. For example, entry bans were imposed, assets were frozen or yachts and private jets were confiscated. The West accuses the sanctioned Russian billionaires of supporting President Vladimir Putin’s government.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the four oligarchs who are going before the European Union court are Alisher Usmanov, Mikhail Fridman and Pyotr Aven, in addition to Abramovich. They have all filed complaints independently of one another, in which they call on the CJEU to declare the penalties invalid. The documents had already arrived at the EuG in April. Hearings have not yet been scheduled.

Abramovich also holds Portuguese citizenship. According to the Wall Street Journal, he claims in his complaint that the sanctions violate his fundamental rights, which should actually be protected by the EU. He is demanding damages and a payment of one million US dollars to a charitable foundation. According to the report, Aven and Fridman, who founded the financial group Alfa Group, contest the EU’s assessment that they work in sectors that “represent a significant source of income for the government of the Russian Federation”.

It can be assumed that the lawsuits have little chance of success. The Wall Street Journal, citing EU experts, writes that the European Union could otherwise re-justify the sanctions against the oligarchs.