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Putin’s Response to EU Sanctions: See You in Court

Russian President Vladimir Putin at a weekly meeting with ministers of the government on Oct. 29
Russian President Vladimir Putin at a weekly meeting with ministers of the government on Oct. 29Photograph by Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images

The fight over Russian sanctions is heading to court. Since early October at least six Russian companies—including state oil group Rosneft and the country’s two biggest banks—have filed complaints at the Luxembourg-based European General Court. So has President Vladimir Putin’s oligarch friend Arkady Rotenberg. All of them are seeking to overturn European Union sanctions.

They have some reason for optimism. The EU court has previously thrown out sanctions against several Iranian entities and individuals. In those cases, the court found European authorities didn’t provide sufficient evidence linking the sanctioned entities to Tehran’s nuclear program and didn’t give them an adequate chance to respond before imposing asset freezes and other punishment.