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EU Policy. Abramovich re-appeals Ukraine-linked EU sanctions

Roman Abramovich was sanctioned after the Russian invasion of Ukraine
Roman Abramovich was sanctioned after the Russian invasion of Ukraine Copyright AP Photo
Copyright AP Photo
By Jack Schickler
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The Russian oligarch and ex-Chelsea FC owner saw funds frozen for his apparent ties to Putin.

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Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich has again taken to EU courts to challenge sanctions imposed against him in retaliation for the Ukraine war, according to legal documents published today (8 April).

Abramovich faced an asset freeze and EU travel ban shortly after the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Parallel measures imposed by the UK have already forced Abramovich to sell his ownership of Chelsea football club, and the EU’s General Court last December said his involvement with steel company Evraz justified the restrictive measures.

The EU has sanctioned around 2,000 people and entities in connection with the Ukraine war, in a bid to weaken the Russian economy and influence the inner circle of President Vladimir Putin.

It is also to seeking to use hundreds of billions of euros in Russian state funds that are currently immobilised within the EU financial sector to aid Ukraine’s fightback.

But Abramovich has denied ties to Putin, and has now taken to the EU Court of Justice to argue more junior judges failed to examine his complaints properly.

The case is the latest twist in a complex legal battle over the sanctions regime, which has seen individuals ranging from former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and Formula One driver Nikita Mazepin take to the courts, with varying degrees of success.

A spokesperson for the European Commission didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the Abramovich appeal, but has previously said the EU decision was “lawful and based on sufficiently solid grounds.”

“Roman Abramovich is one of the leading Russian businesspersons, with longstanding and close ties to President Vladimir Putin,” the EU spokesperson said in December.

Counsel for Abramovich did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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