Vladimir Putin Grant Shapps Eugene Shvidler Usa Britain Russia Eu Ukraine UPS Provident Target BLOCK Citizens Action Vladimir Putin Grant Shapps Eugene Shvidler Usa Britain Russia Eu Ukraine

Oligarch’s lawyers say UK caused serious hardship by freezing assets

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A Russian billionaire who is a close associate of the former owner of Chelsea FC, Roman Abramovich, has launched a legal challenge against UK government sanctions imposed on him in response to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.The case is the first to be launched in the British courts by a Russian hit with sanctions following the invasion of Ukraine, and could serve as a test case for other oligarchs seeking to overturn restrictions such as travel bans or asset freezes.Eugene Shvidler has accused the Foreign Office (FCDO) of “significant errors” in its decision to target him with an asset freezing order and a ban on any aircraft or ships that he owns entering British territory.Since exiting the EU in January 2020, Britain has been obliged to develop its own sanctions mechanisms, and the Shvidler case could be the first big test of their legal strength.The UK government has imposed more restrictions on Russians than either the EU or the US.According to the billionaire’s legal claim, he has suffered “serious hardships” since being hit with sanctions, which led to two of his private jets being impounded within days.At the time, the then transport secretary, Grant Shapps, described the measure as “depriving Putin’s cronies of their luxury toys”.Shvidler said he had already succeeded in forcing Shapps to delete tweets that included the characterisation of him as a crony of the Russian president.

The tweets did not appear to be visible on Friday afternoon.“I wrote to him pointing out that this was completely wrong and two weeks ago he deleted those tweets,” said Shvidler. “He did that because he knew that what he said was wrong.

Read more on theguardian.com
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