Russia is taking the European Union (EU) to court over sanctions imposed on some of its biggest companies. The move is a sign of the pain that the companies’ exclusion from global capital markets is inflicting on the Russian economy.
Rosneft, the state oil company, and Arkady Rotenberg, a long-time friend and former judo sparring partner of President Vladimir Putin, have both launched legal challenges to the sanctions, imposed over Russia’s actions in Ukraine.
The EU bans, with similar measures adopted by the U.S., have all but frozen Russian companies and banks out of western capital markets, at a time when they have to refinance more than $130 billion of foreign debt due for redemption by the end of 2015.
Rosneft filed a case against the EU’s European Council in the general court under the European Court of Justice on October 9, requesting an annulment of the council’s July 31 decision that largely barred it and other Russian energy companies and state banks from raising funds on European capital markets.
Mr Rotenberg, who was hit with an EU visa ban and asset freeze in July, filed a legal case in the same court on October 10 challenging the move.
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