Russian billionaire Usmanov loses court case against the EU – sought to have sanctions removed
Photo: EPA

The European Court in Luxembourg dismissed the complaint of Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov against the EU's decision to impose sanctions on him due to Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The decision was published on the court's website.

Usmanov was placed on the sanctions list in 2022 – almost immediately after the start of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The decision was justified by Usmanov having "particularly close ties" with Vladimir Putin and actively supporting the destabilization of Ukraine. The businessman contested these claims. He insisted that he was included in the list solely because of his significant wealth, denied any special connections with Putin, and his influence on political decisions made by the Russian government.

In September 2023, the European Union stopped using the term "oligarch" to refer to Usmanov. Where previously the sanctions' justification called him "Vladimir Putin's favorite oligarch," he was now described as the "favorite leading businessperson."

Usmanov's sister, Gulbakhor Ismailova, also found herself on the EU's sanctions list – some of the oligarch's assets, including the $600 million yacht Dilbar, were registered in her name.

Usmanov holds British citizenship, making him one of the wealthiest individuals not only in Russia but also in the United Kingdom. For a long time, Usmanov owned the London football club Arsenal, and his holding company, USM, had until recently a sponsorship contract with Liverpool's Everton.