The European Court of Justice (ECJ) said on Mar 28 that "restrictive measures ... in response to the crisis in Ukraine against certain Russian undertakings, including Rosneft, are valid."
Rosneft appealed against the EU Council’s sanctions in 2014. Similar appeals have been filed by Gazprom Neft, Sberbank and VTB.
“Those sanctions were politically motivated, so, the same is true for the court’s verdict. I think Gazprom Neft, Sberbank and VTB will face similar verdicts on their anti-sanction claims,” says Ivan Kapitonov, Deputy Head of Public Economy Regulation Department, International Institute of Public Administration and Management, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration.
Senior analyst at the National Energy Security Fund Igor Yushkov doubts that any Russian company can win such a case under such circumstances. “The Europeans have always reproached the Russians for politicizing their economy and now are doing the same. Rosneft has broken no law. Why should it face sanctions?” Yushkov wonders.
According to Mikhail Neyzhmakov, Head of International Policy Analysis Center at IGSO, the European Court’s verdict has shown that the anti-sanction lobby in Europe is not strong enough.
Kapitonov hopes that the verdict will have no impact on Rosneft and the other Russian companies as they have already adjusted themselves to the sanctions.
According to Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Alexey Meshkov, any sanctions against Russian companies are unlawful.
The first sanctions were imposed in the spring 2014 after Crimea’s reunification with Russia. They were followed by sectoral sanctions against banks and oil and gas companies.