The General Court of the EU has held that the EU capital market restrictions on banks said to be Russian State-owned are compatible with EU law. These were challenged by (inter alia) Sberbank, VTB, and Denizbank. The Court found that these are properly analysed as “targeted” measures to which the requirements of EU due process apply, and that these duties had been complied with. It also found the restrictions to be proportionate to their objective even though the operators they affect have nothing do with Russia’s actions in Ukraine (at which the measures are aimed), and do not violate the EU Russia Partnership Agreement or (in Denizbank’s case) the Ankara Agreement because they are justified by the EU’s security interests.
Maya Lester QC appeared for the banks, as did Oliver Jones in the DenizBank case. More details on Maya’s sanctions blog europeansanctions.com