Vladimir Putin scores victory over EU after court ruling | World | News

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Vladimir Putin scores victory over EU after court ruling | World | News

The European Union suffered a humiliating and possibly fatal setback to its Russia sanctions policy, after a court overturned bans on two top Putin oligarchs.

The General Court ruled that the EU had failed to prove how Petr Aven and Mikhail Fridman were connected to Putin’s 2022 full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

The Court proceeded to annul the sanctions imposed on the pair from 2022-23, although the European Council can still appeal.

The ruling could open the way for hundreds of Kremlin-linked individuals to challenge the EU sanctions regime.

Currently more than 1,700 individuals and 400 entities have ben included on EU sanctions list since 2014, when Putin annexed Crimea and sent troops in eastern Ukraine.

The Court’s decision was slammed as « hypocritical » and a « sign of Western unresolve and weakness » by a leading anti-Putin opposition figure.

Ilya Ponomarev told the Daily Express that in reality the Court’s decision changes nothing.

He explained: « They overturned the sanctions of 2022 but sustained the follow-up sanctions of 2023, so besides a psychological victory nothing changes for Fridman.

« But overall this is a sign of Western un-resolve and weakness, and that the proper way for the sanctions policies to work still is not implemented. »

« It is a major roadblock on the way for Putin’s elite to split and switch sides, » he added.

The billionaire businessmen made their fortunes in Russia from oil, banking and retail. They remain on the sanctions list of the UK, where the two men resided before the war.

Aven, who has an estimated £4.3bn fortune, owns Ingliston House, on 8.5 acres of land in a gated estate next to Wentworth golf course in Surrey.

Ukraine-born Fridman, who was listed as the UK’s 11th wealthiest person in the Sunday Times rich list with an estimated £11bn fortune, owns Athlone House, a £65m mansion in Highgate, north London.

Other Russian opposition figures voiced their anger at the Court’s decision to give the entrepreneurs a reprieve.

“I’d like to ask European politicians: what’s changed since you sanctioned Russian oligarchs?,” Yulia Navalnaya, the widow of Alexei Navalny, wrote on X.

“Neither Fridman nor Aven have spoken out against the war or made any efforts to stop it – they’ve simply hired expensive lawyers and influential lobbyists.”

Cet article est apparu en premier sur https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1887210/vladimir-putin-scores-major-victory-over-eu-sanctions


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