EU Sanctions Against Russian Banks, Energy Firms Upheld

(CN) – The European General Court upheld sanctions Thursday as part of an effort to make it more costly for Russia to continue destabilization efforts in the Ukraine.

When the European Council levied the restrictions in 2014, Russia had seized Crimea from the Ukraine after the Ukraine’s pro-Russia President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted in the culmination of a violent uprising.

Russian banks like VTB Bank and DenizBank, and oil and as companies like Gazprom and Rosneft, seek to have the sanctions annulled, but the European General Court upheld the measures Thursday in a series of rulings, most of which are available in English.

A press release from Luxembourg on the cases notes that the council’s objective of making Russia’s destabilization efforts more costly “is consistent with the objective of maintaining peace and international security.”

“The court also states that the council can impose, if it deems it appropriate, restrictions which target undertakings active in specific sectors of the Russian economy in which products, technologies or services imported from the European Union are particularly significant,” the press release states.

Thursday’s ruling follows a March 2017 judgment by the European Court of Justice, which found that sanctions against Rosneft were necessary to ensure  international security interests.

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