MOSCOW, June 27 (RAPSI) - The European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg has scheduled the hearing of a claim lodged by Russian businessman Arkady Rotenberg challenging his inclusion on the EU sanctions list for June 29, RAPSI learnt in the court on Monday.

In March 2014, the European Council imposed restrictive measures on a number of Russian individuals and businesses following a crisis in Ukraine and the developing situation in Crimea.

Since then it has encompassed over 130 individuals and 28 Russian companies, including officials and businessmen as well as leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics. Aside from individual sanctions, the EU imposed sector-specific sanctions against Russia that have negatively affected major Russian financial institutions and major companies. The sanctions list has been repeatedly extended.  

Rotenberg, a co-owner and board chairman of SMP Bank, was added to the list on July 30, 2014.

He made an official request with the Council asking for review of the decision. However, further restrictions were imposed and initial measures were prolonged as well.

In October, Rotenberg turned to the ECJ challenging his continued inclusion on the sanctions list and seeking “an annulment of the Council’s decision, arguing, amongst other grounds, that the measures are disproportionate.” He insists that the Council has violated his “fundamental rights to property, privacy and the freedom to run a business.” Initially Rotenberg filed two suits with the court in Luxemburg but later withdrew one of them.

Interestingly, several Russian companies including Rosneft, Gazpromneft, Sberbank, VTB Bank, Vnesheconombank filed suits over sanctions with the ECJ in lockstep with Rotenberg.