On 28 February, Marietje Schaake submitted the following written questions, co-signed by 31 colleagues, to the Commission and High Representative Federica Mogherini on the implementation of the EU sanction regime against Russia:
In November 2017, Russian company EN+ registered on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) (1).
EN+ does not explicitly fall under the EU sanctions regime imposed following Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea.
EN+ is owned by Oleg Deripaska, close business partner of Putin and director of Basic Element, one of the largest industrial groups in Russia. Basic Element has a 47% stake in Rusal, one of the largest aluminum-producing companies in the world.
EN+ has indicated that a portion of the money it raises on the LSE will be used to repay its debt to VTB. VTB is a Russian state-owned bank subject to EU sanctions.
1. Is the VP/HR aware of EN+ entering a European stock exchange last year, becoming the first Russian company to do so since the imposing of EU sanctions?
2. How does the VP/HR assess EN+’s specific situation relates to the EU sanctions that limit access to EU primary and secondary capital markets for certain Russian banks and companies, imposes a ban on trade in arms and curtails Russian access to certain sensitive technologies and services that can be used for oil production and exploration?
3. Can the VP/HR clarify whether EU sanctions can in some cases also apply indirectly and can she assess whether this could be the case for EN+?
Answer given by Vice-President Mogherini on behalf of the Commission:
The restrictive measures in view of Russia's actions destabilising the situation in Ukraine were adopted by Council Decision 2014/512/CFSP and Council Regulation (EU) No 833/2014.
In line with Article 291(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, all restrictive measures are to be implemented by EU Member States, which are also responsible for verifying their application. It is therefore the responsibility of the national competent authorities to conduct an investigation in case of possible misapplication of restrictive measures and to impose penalties in case, as a result of the investigations, an infringement of the provisions of the relevant Regulations can be established.
In its role as guardian of the treaties, the Commission monitors the implementation of EC law by the Member States. Compliance with EU restrictive measures is essential and the Commission continuously maintains contacts with national competent authorities whenever a concrete and documented instance of possible misapplication of restrictive measures is brought to its attention. The Commission is aware of the situation and is in contact with the competent United Kingdom authorities.