The proposal to consider in Russian courts the claims of citizens of the Russian Federation who are under sanctions is relevant and actual, but not viable, according to lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, who herself was the object of investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller on the so-called Russian intervention case.
“As for me, the idea to fight against the sanction raiding in our courts is unviable, but commendable. It should have done with it long time ago,” Veselnitskaya commented on the bill submitted to the State Duma.
This is about the provision the Russians under US sanctions of the right to protect their rights in a Russian court in cases which are in the jurisdiction of courts of foreign states, international organizations or arbitration courts.
“This is not a problem of a person or a company, it is a political war against our country,” said Veselnitskaya.
In her opinion, “it would be more effective to create a specialized federal anti-banking agency, possibly an interdepartmental one, with the inclusion of the Office of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Finance of Russia, endowed with financial and legal instruments.” This agency would do “analyzing the situation for each person included into the sanction lists, recruiting foreign lawyers and communicating at the leadership level responsible for including Russian individuals into the lists.”
“We will still have to fight with sanctions in the courts on their territory. Only one person can be a defendant in such cases. If we are talking about a trend setter for sanctions – the United States, this is the OFAC Office (The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Department of the Treasury deciding on the inclusion of specific individuals and the formation of lists),” the lawyer said.
In her words, in the light of the recent decision of the US Supreme Court (dated June 27, 2019), “the US Treasury, challenging its decisions, will have to justify its decision to include Russian citizens and companies into the sanction lists with “non-fake (far-fetched) explanations.”
“Regardless of the decision that any branch of the US government takes, including the State Department and the US Treasury, it must give a real reason now. This decision of the US Armed Forces, in fact, can become a precedent for challenging the decisions of the US Treasury to include Russian citizens and companies into the sanction lists,” said Veselnitskaya.
Natalia Veselnitskaya – official website