15:42 GMT08 August 2020
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    The Court of Justice of the European Union's (CJEU) General Court (EGC) on Wednesday upheld in its ruling the European Council's claims that Russia supplied east Ukrainian independence supporters with advanced weapons.

    LUXEMBOURG (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, the court heard a case filed by Russia's Almaz-Antey defense manufacturer against EU sanctions imposed over allegations that the company had contributed to the escalation of the Ukrainian conflict. The case was dismissed and the sanctions were upheld.

    "The documents provided by the Council demonstrate, moreover, that Almaz-Antey manufactures anti-aircraft weaponry, including BUK M1-2 and M2E surface-to-air missiles and Aistenok radars, and that it supplies Russia with weaponry. The Council also established that Russia actually supplied weapons to the separatists in Eastern Ukraine," the court said in a statement after the ruling.

    The statement went on to say that the evidence produced by the European Union was based on media reports on east Ukrainian fighters shooting down government military planes and helicopters.

    The court also stressed that the European Union was not obliged to provide conclusive evidence when claiming that weapons made by Almaz-Antey ended up in Ukraine.

    "The Council was  not required  to  demonstrate  positively  that the  weapons  which  Almaz-Antey  produced  were  used  in  Ukraine  by  the  separatists. Such evidence would be difficult to provide… Furthermore, the Court recalls that the existence merely of a risk that an entity may act reprehensibly may be sufficient to impose an asset freeze on it," the statement concluded.

    On July 30, 2014, the EU Council made the decision to include the company in its sanctions lists, saying that Almaz-Antey contributed to the destabilization of Ukraine since "Russian authorities were providing heavy weaponry to separatists in Eastern Ukraine."

    Almaz-Antey filed a lawsuit against the EU Council in May 2015, while the second appeal by the company was sent to the EU court in September. The company contests individual sanctions against it, as well as sectoral restrictions.


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    European Union, manufacturer, weaponry, defense, sanctions, Almaz-Antei, EU Council, Donbass, Russia
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