European Court of Justice dismisses Putin ally’s appeal to overturn sanctions

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Gennady Timothy, a staunch Putin supporter and billionaire Russian, was denied a hearing by the EU’s highest court on Wednesday. The EU placed the oligarch on its sanctions list after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022. Timchenko was a longtime tycoon of the energy industry and heavily involved in Putin’s work in Russia as CEO of Novatek, Russia’s largest gas producer. The EU sanctions have frozen Timchenko’s entire assets, as well as the assets of his family members and close associates located in the European Union. Timchenko, his family and any members of their entourage were also banned from entering any EU country. Over 100 Russians have been subjected to similar sanctions in response the the invasion of Ukraine. This is not the first challenge to the international sanctions against Russia. These challenges are often based on moral reasons.

Timchenko claimed that he had no association with the Russian Government after quitting his position as CEO of Novatek when Russia launched its offensive against Ukraine. The ECJ is not convinced that Timchenko, or any other Russian oligarch, should have sanctions lifted. The EU currently has more than $20B in frozen Russian assets, but there is a lot of debate about what to do with it. Some say it should go towards Ukraine’s defence and counter-offensive, while others think it should go toward rebuilding Ukraine after the war is over.