Russian billionaire Abramovich loses legal challenge against EU sanctions

20th December 2023 By: Reuters

Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich on Wednesday lost a legal challenge to overturn sanctions imposed on him by the European Union in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, after an EU court upheld the restrictions.

After President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian troops into Ukraine in February 2022, the EU sanctioned Russian officials and a host of Russian businessmen, such as Abramovich, while freezing hundreds of billions of dollars of Russian assets.

Abramovich had filed a legal challenge against this.

The court, which also dismissed Abramovich's claims for compensation, noted his role in the Russian steel company Evraz and the fact that steel provided a major source of revenue to the Russian government.

"The General Court dismisses the action brought by Mr Abramovich, thereby upholding the restrictive measures taken against him," the EU court said in a ruling.

"The Council did not in fact err in its assessment by deciding to include then maintain Mr Abramovich’s name on the lists at issue, in the light of his role in the Evraz group and, in particular, its parent company," it added, referring to the sanctions lists.

Abramovich, who also holds Israeli citizenship and is a former owner of Premier League club Chelsea, became one of the world's most powerful businessmen after the 1991 break-up of the Soviet Union. Forbes estimates his net worth at $9.2 billion.