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European Court Finds Rotenberg Sanctions 'Unjustified'

Arkady Rotenberg Mikhail Metzel / TASS

A court in Luxembourg has partially upheld a complaint from Russian billionaire Arkady Rotenberg against personal sanctions placed on him following the annexation of Crimea.

The court's decision acknowledged that the sanctions against Rotenberg from July 30, 2014 had not been substantiated, but upheld the personal sanctions applied in March 2015. This was due to the rewording of the sanctions' justification, which was amended in 2015. Specifically, changes mentioned the fact that Rotenberg's company StroyGazMontazh would be taking part in a project to build a bridge connecting Russia to the annexed peninsula, whereas the earlier explanation only hinted at Rotenberg's involvement in Crimea.

The court's decision did not mention any possible compensation for Rotenberg due to seven months of personal sanctions. In his complaint, Rotenberg had asked for both compensation and a cancellation of the sanctions. 

Arkady Rotenberg was sanctioned by the EU in July 2014 when it was learned that one of his companies had won a tender to build a bridge connecting Russia to the Crimean peninsula. Also mentioned by the EU was Arkady Rotenberg's close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

As a result of the personal sanctions, Rotenberg was banned from traveling to the EU, and his European assets were frozen.  

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