Photo of Roman Abramovich shared widely shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine. He was apparently waiting to leave Israel because "Israel had no intention of helping #Russians to hide from European and American #sanctions"

Portugal’s richest citizen files lawsuit against EU sanctions

Details of Roman Abramovich’s lawsuit so far unexplained

Portugal’s richest citizen Roman Abramovich has filed a lawsuit at the EU’s general court against the European Union Council, which imposed sanctions against him in March as part of measures targeting Russia and President Vladimir Putin’s close allies.

Officials from the Council and the EU’s court have not commented on the details of the legal case.

Mr Abramovich has been forced to sell Chelsea Football Club (without receiving a penny for it) and seen properties and assets – including a luxurious home in Quinta do Lago – frozen, unable to be sold, or even rented.

The European Commission, the EU’s executive branch, has said that Portuguese authorities confirmed that the sale of Chelsea will see proceeds only released for humanitarian activities in Ukraine.

“This follows close engagement between the European Commission, Portugal and the United Kingdom aimed at ensuring that the sale is fully in line with the EU sanctions legislation,” the Commission said in a message to Associated Press. “The effective implementation and enforcement of EU sanctions are a priority for the Commission.”

When it sanctioned Mr Abramovich, the EU said he “has had privileged access to the (Russian) president, and has maintained very good relations with him. This connection with the Russian leader helped him to maintain his considerable wealth.”

Roman Abramovich has been a Portuguese citizen since April last year, albeit the process he used to become so is now the subject of various inquiries, including a criminal investigation.

natasha.donn@portugalresident.com