The European Court of General Jurisdiction in Luxembourg lifted sanctions against the former CEO of the Ozon retailer Alexander Shulgin, as follows from the text of the court decision dated September 6. The decision against him will come into force after the deadline for appeal has expired.
This is the first time sanctions have been lifted from a Russian businessman, introduced after the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, RBC notes. Sanctions specialist Yuri Shumilov, in a conversation with the publication, noted that the decision of the EU Court is a precedent, since before this only relatives of businessmen under sanctions could challenge sanctions.
Restrictions against Shulgin were introduced on April 8, 2022. The EU Council justified the imposition of sanctions by the fact that he is a “leading (influential) businessman” and CEO of Ozon. “On February 24, 2022, he took part in a meeting of oligarchs in the Kremlin with President Vladimir Putin, where actions after the introduction of Western sanctions were discussed. The fact that he was invited to take part in this meeting shows that he is part of the inner circle of oligarchs close to President Putin, and that he supports or implements actions or policies that undermine or threaten the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine,” the EU Council said in its justification.
Three days after being included in the sanctions list, Shulgin left his post as CEO of Ozon. The EU Council did not provide the court with evidence that after his resignation he continued to play a serious role in the Russian economy.
In total, according to the EU Court, Russian businessmen filed about 60 lawsuits to lift sanctions. Prior to this, the EU court lifted sanctions only from relatives of entrepreneurs who were subject to restrictions – Yevgeny Prigozhin’s mother Violetta and Dmitry Mazepin’s son Nikita. The decision against Mazepin was partial and related exclusively to his professional activities as a racing driver.
Previously, the European Union court rejected claims against the former general director and main owner of the Pipe Metallurgical Company Dmitry Pumpyansky and his wife, co-owner of NOVATEK and SIBUR, Gennady Timchenko and his wife, as well as the former managing director of Yandex Tigran Khudaverdyan and the owner of the Safmar group. Mikhail Gutseriev.
In July of this year, the UK removed businessman Oleg Tinkov from the sanctions list. He is no longer subject to sanctions involving the seizure of assets and a ban on the provision of trust services. Last May, Tinkov published a post where he said that he had “nothing left in Russia” and that he was “taking the Tinkoff and La Datcha brands out of the country: he did not want to “stain them with the blood of Russian soldiers and residents of Ukraine.”