EU court upholds EU sanctions vs Russian banks, companies over Ukraine crisis

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union’s general court upheld on Thursday the bloc’s sanctions against Russian banks and oil and gas companies over their involvement the turmoil in Ukraine.

Rosneft, Sberbank, VTB Bank, Gazprom Neft, Vnesheconombank, Prominvestbank and DenizBank challenged the EU sanctions, which restrict their access to some financial transactions and certain sensitive goods and technologies, as well as to the capital markets in the EU and prohibit the provision of services required for certain oil transactions.

“The General Court of the EU upholds restrictive measures adopted by the Council against a number of Russian banks and oil and gas companies in connection with the crisis in Ukraine,” the court said in a statement.

The EU slapped sanctions on Russia after it annexed the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea from Kiev in 2014 and stepped them up since as Moscow went on to back rebels fighting government troops in eastern Ukraine.

Reporting by Jan Strupczewski