The Russian catering company Prigozhin is defending itself against EU sanctions. The Kremlin intimate, nicknamed "Putin's cook," argues that they violate his professional freedom. The judges dismissed him, saying that that was exactly the goal.
The General Court of the European Union has dismissed a lawsuit brought by prominent Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin against EU sanctions. According to the verdict, the judges did not consider it proven that the punitive measures against the confidante of Russian President Vladimir Putin were insufficiently justified and based on inadmissible evidence. Prigozhin had brought this up in a lawsuit.
The 61-year-old Prigozhin, also known by the nickname "Putin's Koch," is on the EU sanctions list because the EU considers him to be a major donor and the unofficial leader of the Wagner mercenary group. He has been accused of violating the UN arms embargo on Libya since 2020. Since April of this year he has also belonged to the group of Russians who have been sanctioned by the EU because they support Putin's Ukraine policy. According to the EU, Prigozhin is responsible, among other things, for sending Wagner Group mercenaries to Ukraine.
The EU sanctions decisions envisaged freezing all of Prigozhin's existing assets in the EU. In addition, he is no longer allowed to enter the EU. Prigozhin can still appeal to the European Court of Justice against the court's decision. His complaint related specifically to the sanctions decision on violations of the arms embargo against Libya, which also prohibits the deployment of mercenaries to Libya.
The court did not accept the businessman's argument that the sanctions violated his right to property and his freedom of occupation. Because this is "by definition" the consequence and goal of the sanctions. The restrictions are justified by the aim pursued. (Az: T-723/20)
Prigozhin is nicknamed "Putin's chef" because he is said to have met Putin in one of his restaurants. The entrepreneur also gets lucrative contracts from the state for school meals and supply of kindergartens. His catering company Concorde also cooks for the Kremlin. A troll factory in St. Petersburg, which deliberately spreads fake news on the Internet, is also associated with him.