Top Russian business tycoons are fighting the bloc in court, seeking the removal of personal sanctions.
Billionaire Roman Abramovich and other top Russian tycoons who have been targeted by EU sanctions over the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine are challenging the restrictions in a European court. The businessmen, widely regarded as “oligarchs” in the West, allege the sanctions have infringed on their rights, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.
Chelsea Abramovich’s former owner, metals and mining tycoon Alisher Usmanov, as well as Mikhail Fridman and Petr Aven, former heads of Alfa Bank, one of Russia’s largest, have filed separate lawsuits over the sanctions in the General Court. of the EU, according to the WSJ. . They are asking the bloc’s second highest court to overturn the sanctions, claiming their rights have been infringed and questioning their supposedly close ties to the Kremlin. Abramovich, for example, cited her Portuguese citizenship in the documents, claiming that the EU sanctions violated fundamental rights supposedly protected by the bloc itself, according to the report.
Some of the ‘oligarchs’ even seek damages from the EU, according to the report. The damage, however, seems to be more symbolic than practical for the Russian billionaires. Abramovich is seeking the European Council to pay more than a million dollars to a charity set up to receive proceeds from the sale of Chelsea Football Club.
Usmanov and his sister, Gulbakhor Ismailova, have similarly disputed EU claims that they somehow played a role in the ongoing conflict. They are also seeking payments of around $20,000 to cover legal costs, according to the report. In his presentation, Usmanov allegedly claimed that the restrictions have led to the failure of several trade deals and put at least three of his companies on the verge of bankruptcy. The tycoon also claimed that the sanctions will affect employees and their families in his businesses, but a court reportedly rejected the motion last month.
Earlier this week, Bloomberg reported, citing sources, that the EU is considering removing restrictions it had placed on some Russian citizens. According to the outlet, some 40 Russians have tried to be removed from the sanctions list, with some 30 taking the matter to court and another ten going directly to the EU. Lawyers for the bloc have reportedly admitted that some of the applications submitted by the sanctioned Russians may have merit, and that the restrictions against them were imposed based on weak, outdated or outright false evidence.
In recent months, the EU has targeted hundreds of high-profile Russians, including senior officials, business leaders and their relatives for their alleged role in the conflict. Restrictions commonly include a specific asset freeze and travel bans.
Russia sent troops to Ukraine on February 24, claiming that kyiv failed to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the Donetsk and Lugansk regions special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, negotiated by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Since then, former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has admitted that kyiv’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and money. “create powerful armed forces”.
In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that would never join any Western military bloc. kyiv insists that the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.