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Almaz-Antei finds European court’s decision on sanctions against company 'political'

January 25, 15:48 UTC+3

The company will not appeal the decision

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A test facility of the Almaz-Antey Concern

A test facility of the Almaz-Antey Concern

© Sergei Konkov/TASS

MOSCOW, January 25. /TASS/. General Director of the Almaz-Antei concern has called the decision of the European court of Justice to uphold the European Council’s sanctions against the Russian company "politically charged."

"We find that today's decision of the European Court is political and is not based on a legal assessment of the case," Group’s CEO Yan Novikov said as quoted by the press service.

Almaz-Antei will not appeal the European Court's decision, a spokesman with the company told TASS.

"We are not going to file an appeal, as it was said today that the decision of the European Court is politicized and, accordingly, we do not believe the European court," the spokesman said.

He also said that Almaz-Antei is no longer going to spend money on meetings in the European Court.

Earlier on Wednesday, it was reported that the EU Court of Justice of the first instance upheld the sanctions of the European Council against Almaz-Antei for 2015-2016.

Introduction of sanctions against  Almaz-Antei

The European Council decided to freeze asserts of the company from March 2015 to September 2016. The enterprise was put on the black list of EU Council on July 31, 2014, in less than two weeks after the crash of the Malaysian Boeing in the east of Ukraine.

Almaz-Antei appealed against that decision by filing a lawsuit to the European court of Justice on August 21, 2015.

"Back in 2014, EU officials said openly that the introduction of sanctions against the concern was connected to the crash of the Malaysian airlines Boeing in Ukraine on July 17, 2014. In September 2016, at the hearings in the European Court of Justice the EU Council admitted that the connection between Almaz-Antei and the crash of Malaysian Being was not determined. That makes the court’s today decision on our lawsuit look even more absurd," Novikov said.

In his turn, deputy general director of the Group of legal and corporate Policy Vladimir Konovalov said that at the hearing the company’s representatives submitted arguments about invalidity of the EU sanctions. At the same time, the EU Council could not provide any proof that production of Almaz-Antey had been delivered in the conflict zone in the east of Ukraine and confirm the group's involvement in the crash of the Malaysian Boeing.

"In the absence of any evidence linking the group to destabilization of the situation in Ukraine and proper justification of the EU Council decision to put the Group on the list of sanctioned companies, the decision to impose sanctions violates the legal norms and principles of the EU, in particular the right to protection and the right to effective judicial protection and that is why it should be canceled," Konovalov said.

He also said that the main argument of the Council is a "reference to certain" messages in social networks" and "numerous publications in the media" about the presence of the Buk aircraft missile systems in the area.

"The Concern insists on the fact that the inclusion of the company on the lists of sanctioned companies is unreasonable and violates the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Charter of fundamental rights of the EU," Konovalov said.

In spring of 2015, Almaz-Antei appealed administrative and judicial sanctions imposed by the EU Council. German partnership of lawyers Taylor Wessing provides legal assistance to the Russian company. The lawsuit demanding to cancel the EU Council’s decision dated March 13, 2015 was filed to the General Court of the EU (Luxembourg).

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