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Two Russian bankers left in EU limbo, despite court win.

Maître William Julié briefly commented the annulment by the Court of Justice of the European Union of the sanctions imposed by the Council of the EU against two individuals, Mr. Friedman, and Mr. Aven, in the context of the situation in Ukraine.

Although, these two decisions only concern the cases of the two individual applicants, they are definitely part of a larger trend, and 2024 marks the real kick-start of the Court giving important answers and solutions to the challenges raised by legal sanctions practitioners against the Council’s restrictive measures imposed on some individuals and entities. The question is not whether these are politically justified, but simply to determine if they are compliant with the EU’s most fundamental principles, including the Rule of Law.

These decisions remain important, especially as the Court reiterated its position that the reasons given by the Council to sanction a natural or legal person must be current, and cannot relate only to past events, which is often the case.