The EU’s General Court has upheld the organization’s sanctions against TV pundit and Rossiya Segodnya news agency head Dmitry Kiselyov, also ruling that Kiselyov must pay the court for the costs of hearing his lawsuit.
The Russian television star tried to challenge the European Union’s sanctions levied against him in 2014, following Russia’s annexation of Crimea and armed intervention in eastern Ukraine. The EU says it targeted Kiselyov because he “supported the deployment of Russian troops to Ukraine.”
Kiselyov says these allegations are false, and asked the General Court to remove the sanctions and refund him for the costs of the lawsuit. Instead, the court rejected all of Kiselyov’s demands.
Commenting on the court’s decision, Kiselyov said, “I expected nothing else, given that the current judicial procedures in the EU deny people the right to defend themselves. For example, I wasn’t allowed to appear in court or even to attend the trial. [...] It’s a disgrace for the European Union. They want to throw their hands over their ears and tame the tongues of anyone else.”
In the spring of 2014, the European Union, the United States, and several other countries levied economic sanctions against Russia, as well as restrictions on individual citizens of Russia and Ukraine for their supposed roles in the annexation of Crimea and military intervention in eastern Ukraine. Those blacklisted by the West are barred from traveling to the countries that imposed the sanctions, and all their assets in those countries were frozen. The EU currently imposes such restrictions on 149 Russian and Ukrainian citizens.