EU court lifts European sanctions against Yevgeny Prigozhin's mother
The General Court of the European Union has lifted the EU restrictions on Violetta Prigozhina, the mother of the Wagner PMC founder
This is stated in the document of the General Court of the Court of Justice of the European Union.
“Even if the latter is responsible for actions undermining the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, the link between Ms Prigozhina and her son established at the time of the adoption of the contested acts is based solely on their family relationship and is therefore not sufficient to justify her inclusion on the contested list in response to Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol in March 2014 and Russia's destabilizing actions in eastern Ukraine,” the press release stated.
It is noted that the EU Council imposed sanctions against Violetta Prigozhina according to the information that she owns Concord Management and Consulting LLC, which is part of the Concord group, founded and owned by her son until 2019. In particular, she is the owner of other companies associated with Prigozhin. Therefore, in the Council's opinion, she supports actions and policies that undermine the integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.
In that context, Violetta Prigozhina has requested that the General Court annul the contested acts in so far as they concern her.
“In its judgment delivered today, the General Court grants her request. It observes, inter alla, that it is apparent from the case file that Ms Prigozhina has no longer been the owner of Concord Management and Consulting since 2017, even though she had held shares in that undertaking. In addition, the Council fails to demonstrate that she owned other undertakings with links to her son on the date of the adoption of the contested acts.
Consequently, the link that would amount to an association between the two persons established at the time of the adoption of the contested acts and upon which the Council relied on that date is based solely on their family relationship, which, in view of the criterion applied by the Council in the present case, the statement of reasons on which the contested acts are based and the case-law of the Court of Justice, is not sufficient to justify her inclusion on the contested lists,” the document says.
However, Radio Liberty journalist Rikard Dzoswiak claims that the EU sanctions against Violetta Prigozhina remain in force, and the lifting of the sanctions only applies to the decision of the EU Council when they were first applied:
“EU statement: "It is to be noted that the recent judgment of the General Court only concerns the decision of 23 Feb 2022. Consequently, asset freeze and travel ban measures vis-a-vis Prigozhina still apply as the decision adopted on 14 Sep 2022 to renew her designation is still in force,” he tweeted.
The founder of the Wagner PMC, Yevgeny Prigozhin, earned at least USD 250 million from oil, gas, diamonds and gold production in Syria and Africa despite the sanctions.