Peters & Peters

Russia sanctions backlash as billionaire launches challenge

A few weeks ago, Eugene Shvidler, a billionaire who has been associated with Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, launched the first legal challenge to reach the London courts to the UK’s Russian sanctions regime.

Shvidler is arguing that the Foreign Office made “significant errors” in deciding to freeze his assets. He also challenges that he is “an involved person” on account of his association with Abramovich and for having engaged in the past with FTSE 100 steel company Evraz, which has been accused of funding the war in Ukraine.

Michael O’Kane, who represents Shvidler, told The Times that his client has been sanctioned for “his friendship” with the oligarch and for having been “in the past a non-executive director of Evraz, [which has] operations in Russia and the US”.

Michael said that Shvidler is not Russian but a UK/US national, who has “publicly expressed his opposition to the war”.

“It is hard to see how sanctioning him helps to disable [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s ability to wage war in Ukraine or influence Russian government actions”, Michael said.


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