A judgment of the CJEU announced on 19th December had the effect of annulling the sanctions imposed by the EU in July 2017 on Azarov, who fled to Russia with ex-President Viktor Yanukovych. Politico translates the judgment as saying that “even the head of a notoriously corrupt government appointed by a president who lived in an opulent palace with a private zoo is protected under the EU’s fundamental legal rights”. The General Court had previously rejected Azarov’s case, but his appeal has now succeeded. The CJEU set aside the judgment of the General Court, annulled the decision contained in Council Decision 2015/364/CFSP and awarded Azarov his costs. EU Case 530/17 refers.
Azarov’s EU assets remain frozen until at least March 2019, because post-2015 EU decisions to keep him blacklisted included “new reasoning” – meaning that he has to fight separate appeals against those decisions.