At least 20 Russian billionaires have launched legal challenges against European Union sanctions imposed after Moscow invaded Ukraine, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.
More than 1,000 Russians, including President Vladimir Putin, are on the EU’s sanctions list, which sees them hit with travel bans and asset freezes.
Former Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich, industrialist Andrei Melnichenko, banker Mikhail Fridman and petrochemical tycoon Dmitry Konov are among the oligarchs sanctioned to file suit in EU courts.
“The vast majority of cases will have a very limited chance of success,” Irish lawyer Carsten Zatschler told Bloomberg.
“So much political judgment is involved in the underlying decisions.”
Russian business leaders face a narrow window of just over two months to prepare an EU appeal, Bloomberg reported.
They also struggle to find legal representation because “many law firms have been avoiding any business related in any way to Russia since the invasion,” Zatschler said.
Even in the remote chance of a favorable court ruling, the EU can also “re-designate” individuals by submitting new arguments for their inclusion on sanctions lists.
For many, the case of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych illustrates the difficulty of evading EU sanctions, Bloomberg reported.
The exiled pro-Russian leader has won almost every challenge to EU sanctions since he was first targeted by the bloc in 2014, only to be named again in a game of tag and match. mouse that would have involved nine separate calls.
Bloomberg reported that EU courts have, on rare occasions, suspended sanctions and allowed those targeted to sue for damages years later.