Annulment of Restrictive Measures Applied to Mother of Wagner Group Founder
On 8 March 2023, theGeneral Court decided to annul the restrictive measures applied to Ms Violette Prigozhina, mother of Mr Yevgeniy Prigozhin, who is responsible for the deployment of Wagner Group mercenaries in Ukraine in the context of Russia’s war against Ukraine.
The Council had adopted a series of restrictive measures on 17 March 2014 in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol by Russia in March 2014 and in response to Russia’s destabilising actions in eastern Ukraine. The restrictive measures were directed against certain persons responsible for actions or policies that undermine or threaten the territorial integrity, sovereignty, and independence of Ukraine and against persons, entities, or bodies associated with them.
After Russia’s war against Ukraine began in February 2022, the Council, in its acts of 23 February 2022, added more persons to the lists of those subject to restrictive measures. In this context, it added Ms Violetta Prigozhina's name as the owner of different undertakings with links to her son, Yevgeniy Prigozhin, and therefore supporting actions and policies that undermine the territorial integrity, sovereignty, and independence of Ukraine.
On 21 April 2022, Ms Prigozhina brought an action against the application of the restrictive measures before the CJEU and requested annulment of the contested act. The General Court granted her request, remarking that the link establishing an association between the two persons at the time of the adoption of the contested acts is based solely on their family relationship. According to the judges in Luxembourg, this is not sufficient to justify the mother's inclusion on the contested lists. An appeal, limited to points of law only, may be filed with the ECJ within two months and ten days of being notified of the decision.