Russia’s largest bank Sberbank has filed a lawsuit to the European Union’s Court on cancellation of the decision by the EU’s Council to impose sectoral sanctions against Russia, the Sberbank press office said on Friday.
“Considering that the case will be examined by the European Union’s Court and in compliance with the accustomed practice for such sort of issues, the bank will not comment on its lawsuit until a final court ruling,” Sberbank said in a statement.
Russia’s oil major Rosneft and Russian businessman Arkady Rotenberg earlier filed lawsuits against the EU over the imposition of sanctions to defend shareholders’ interests.
Russian oil major Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin on Thursday said that the norms of the EU resolution on sectoral sanctions against Russia are contradictory and prohibit defending contractual rights.
“The norms of EU Council Resolution No. 833/2014 of July 31, 2014 [on sectoral sanctions against Russia] look contradictory and actually prohibit defending contractual rights,” Sechin said at the third Eurasian forum.
“Thus, the Council of Europe has breached not only its obligations under the European Convention but breaks the basis of the democratic system: the principle of the division of powers. Contract law should stay as an inviolable foundation of business relations in Europe and should be isolated from situational political considerations,” Sechin said.
The EU imposed sectoral sanctions against the Russian financial sector on August 1, 2014 over Russia’s stance on the Ukraine crisis. The sanctions hit Russia’s state-controlled Sberbank, VTB Bank, Gazprombank, Vnesheconombank (VEB) and Russian Agricultural Bank.
The sanctions are effective for one year with a possibility of their review after three months. The sectoral sanctions prohibit European resident entities to provide medium-and long-term financing to these banks.
Subsidiaries of Russia’s state-controlled banks registered in the EU are not subject to sanctions.