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The EU Court rejected the claims of Russian entrepreneurs to challenge the sanctions

7 сентября 2023

The Court of Justice of the European Union refused to satisfy the claims of the following Russian entrepreneurs for their exclusion from the sanctions lists:

  • Businessman and former owner of Pipe Metallurgical Company Dmitry Pumpyansky, his wife Galina and son Alexander (cases T-270/22, T-272/22, T-291/22);
  • Co-owner of Novatek and Sibur Gennady Timchenko and his wife Elena (cases T-252/22, T-361/22);
  • Former Managing Director of Yandex Tigran Khudaverdyan (case T-335/22);
  • Businessman Mikhail Gutseriev (case T-526/21).

The EU Court decided to lift sanctions against former Ozon CEO Alexander Shulgin (case T-364/22). Sanctions against Shulgin were introduced in April 2022, and a few days after their introduction, Shulgin left his post as CEO and resigned from the board of directors of the company. Alexander substantiated his claim to the EU court by the fact that he is no longer related to the company.

It is noteworthy that the former managing director of Yandex, Tigran Khudaverdyan, was denied the lifting of sanctions despite the fact that he also left his position as managing director. What is the difference between the case of Alexander Shulgin and the case of Tigran Khudaverdyan?

In 2019, Khudaverdyan joined the Board of Directors of the Public Interest Foundation and left this position only on 13 April 2023. The fund has the right to appoint two directors to the board of directors of Yandex, has the right to veto over the sale of more than 10% of the shares and indirect control over decisions regarding the provision of direct access to the personal data of Russian users. On 15 March 2022, Khudaverdyan also received the position of a “consultant” in one of the companies of the Yandex group, that is, after being included in the sanctions list and leaving the post of managing director of Yandex. Thus, the court concluded that Khudaverdyan retained his influence over Yandex's decisions.

Dmitry Pumpyansky also withdrew from the beneficiaries and members of the Board of Directors of the Pipe Metallurgical Company, but in the decision the court upheld the conclusions of the EU Council and indicated that Pumpyansky is a major businessman in the economic sector (energy, transport, construction), bringing significant income to the Russian Federation.

See: EU Court of Justice press release https://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/application/pdf/2023-09/cp230132en.pdf. You can find decisions for each case at https://curia.europa.eu/

Nadmitov, Ivanov & Partners Law Firm advises clients on sanctions legislation.

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