Russian billionaires fail to overturn EU sanctions – Reports

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According to Bloomberg, Russian businessmen Gennady Timchenko and Dmitry Pumpyansky have lost the first round of their bid to appeal EU sanctions, which they allege violate their rights. The businessmen have been singled out because of their alleged ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

According to Bloomberg, the EU’s General Court dismissed the billionaires’ appeals, as well as those of Pumpyansky’s wife and son, as well as Timchenko’s wife, on Wednesday. The rulings can still be challenged, according to the site.

According to Timchenko and his wife’s lawyers, Brussels’ categorization of the businessman as a close friend of Putin is unfounded.

Timchenko, the owner of energy investment firm Volga Group, resigned from the management of Russia’s largest private natural gas producer, Novatek, last year after the 27-nation bloc sanctioned the company.

Meanwhile, Pumpyansky has described the sanctions imposed on him, his wife, and his kid as “collateral damage” in the EU’s anti-Putin foreign policy initiatives. Pumpyansky is the owner and chairman of TMK, a Russian global manufacturer of oil and gas steel pipes. The EU has placed sanctions on him based on allegations that his firms benefit from working with the Russian government.

A $75 million superyacht related to Pumpyansky was auctioned off in Gibraltar last August. The expensive yacht was sold to benefit JPMorgan Chase, a US investment bank that claimed Pumpyansky owed it more than $20 million.