Court lifts sanctions against Wagner boss’ mother

Court lifts sanctions against Wagner boss’ mother

Dhe European Union court has annulled EU sanctions against Violetta Prigozhina, the mother of Wagner militia chief Yevgeny Prigozhin. Even if her son is responsible for actions that violate the integrity and sovereignty of the Ukraine undermined, according to the judgment published on Wednesday, the measures taken against the mother were based solely on her family relationship, which is not sufficient as a justification.

Thomas Gutschker

Political correspondent for the European Union, NATO and the Benelux countries based in Brussels.

The court thus confirmed earlier decisions in other matters. It also closed the door to a blanket extension of sanctions to family members of decision-makers and oligarchs, such as those advocated by the foreign minister Annalena Bärbock (Greens) has made strong. There could be more judgments of this kind in the coming weeks. A total of 103 lawsuits against EU sanctions decisions were filed in Luxembourg last year, most of them in connection with the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine.

Insufficient evidence

On February 23, 2022, one day before the war began, Violetta Prigozchina was placed on the sanctions list that has existed since the annexation of Crimea in 2014. The Council of the European Union, which is responsible for sanctions decisions, justified this by saying that she owns the company Concord Management and Consulting founded by her son, as well as other companies related to her son.

However, the court, the lower instance of the Court of Justice of the European Union, could not find sufficient evidence for this. It is clear from the files that Ms. Prigozchina, 61, has not owned the company in question since 2017, even if she still holds shares in it. The Council may object to the decision. Otherwise Prigozchina should return to the EU travel, any assets would have to be released.

Yevgeny Prigozhin himself was in June last year with a lawsuit Luxembourg failed. This was directed against his listing at the end of 2020 in connection with human rights violations by the “Wagner” militia in Libya. In September, the court also dismissed his complaint that he was named as a financier of the “Wagner” group. Since April 2022, Prigozhin has also been listed in connection with the Russian aggression against Ukraine.

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