EU court upholds sanctions on Belarus oligarch over ties to Lukashenko

A top EU court on Wednesday rejected Belarusian magnate Alexander Shakutin’s bid to overturn sanctions imposed for his ties to leader Alexander Lukashenko’s government and its crackdown on the opposition.

Shakutin, who has interests in construction, agriculture and machine-building, was added to the EU’s asset freeze and visa ban blacklist in 2020 for “benefiting from and supporting the Lukashenko regime.”

He is among 195 individuals — including Lukashenko himself — targeted by the EU over the repression of protests following presidential polls in Belarus rejected by the West.

The European General Court dismissed Shakutin’s appeal against the sanctions and said the European Council, the body representing the member states, had proved the grounds for the measures.

“The factual evidence produced by the Council is sufficiently concrete, precise and consistent to establish that Mr Shakutin benefits from and supports the Lukashenko regime,” the court said.

The court’s ruling comes as a string of Russian oligarchs are challenging sanctions imposed on them over Moscow’s war in Ukraine.

The court in March ordered the scrapping of sanctions against the mother of the Wagner Russian paramilitary group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin.

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