MOSCOW, September 18. /TASS/. The EU Council is abusing its powers by ignoring the rulings of the Court of Justice of the European Union to suspend sanctions against Russian racing driver Nikita Mazepin, the racer's counsel Aaron Bass told TASS.
"The Council of the EU has been abusing its powers to nullify clear decisions rendered by the President of the General Court. This is nothing short of an extremely serious constitutional crisis. And to what end? Solely to impose sanctions, on the basis of contrived allegations and irrelevant or non-existent evidence, in respect of a young sportsman who, as the Court has held, is in no way involved in the Ukraine conflict or in any business that provides a relevant financial contribution to the Russian government," he said in a statement.
On March 2, it became known that the European Court of Justice allowed Mazepin to enter the EU’s territory for negotiations with Formula 1 teams and participation in other championships. However, the Council of the EU ignored this ruling and extended sanctions against Mazepin for another term, which was challenged by Mazepin’s lawyers with the European Court of Justice again. The Court of Justice has once again ruled to suspend sanctions against Mazepin. On September 14, the Council decided to extend the sanctions against Mazepin for another six months, and the European Court of Justice ordered an immediate suspension.
Mazepin spent his only Formula 1 season in 2021 with the Haas team. The pilot's best result was 14th place. The Haas FIA Formula One Team announced that it had terminated its contract with Mazepin over the situation in Ukraine. Later, the United Kingdom imposed sanctions against him, and he was put on the EU blacklist. On April 22, the Canadian Press reported that Mazepin intends to get the sanctions imposed against him lifted by Canada.
On March 1, 2022, the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile allowed Russian and Belarusian auto racers to compete under a neutral flag and upon the signing of a special document laying restrictions on drivers.