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EU lifts sanctions against famous Russian oligarchs: details

Roman KostyuchenkoNews
EU court lifts sanctions against Russian oligarchs Fridman and Aven
EU court lifts sanctions against Russian oligarchs Fridman and Aven. Source: LetterOne Group/Flickr

The Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg has ordered the removal of two Russian oligarchs from the EU sanctions list. This is about co-founders of the Alfa Group concern Mikhail Fridman and Pyotr Aven. The decision was made on April 10.

This is stated by the court. It argued that:

  • "none of the reasons stated in the initial sanctions acts is sufficiently substantiated";
  • accordingly, the inclusion of Aven and Fridman in the sanctions lists was not justified.

"Speaking of the extension of the acts, the court considers that the Council of the EU has not provided any additional evidence compared to that on which it relied in the original acts," the document says.

The court saw no connection between Russian oligarchs and Putin

At the same time, it is emphasized that, in the court's opinion, although there are reasons to believe that Fridman and Aven are close to the entourage of Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin or to him, "they do not demonstrate that [the oligarchs] supported actions or policies that undermine or threaten the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine."

In addition, the court said, these grounds do not prove that Fridman and Aven provided material or financial support to Russian individuals responsible for the annexation of Crimea or the destabilization of Ukraine. Nor do they prove "that they benefited from these individuals."

Fridman and Aven are founders and shareholders of the Russian Alfa-Bank. After the outbreak of a full-scale war in Ukraine, they left Russia but found themselves under EU and UK sanctions. In August 2023, they were also added to the US sanctions list.

As reported earlier, the holding of Russian oligarchs Friedman and Aven, ABH Holdings (ABHH, Luxembourg), filed a lawsuit against Ukraine with the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) for more than $1 billion. The Russian businessmen are demanding this compensation for the nationalization of Sense Bank, formerly known as Alfa-Bank Ukraine.

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