The Russian oligarch, co-owner of the Novatek gas company and the Sibur petrochemical company Gennady Timchenko asked the US authorities to lift the sanctions imposed on him in 2014 and unfreeze two accounts in Swiss banks, Bloomberg writes.
The corresponding claim was filed by representatives of Timchenko to the Supreme Court of Switzerland. He will become the last resort for the businessman – after previous appeals were rejected by the country’s prosecutor’s office and the Geneva court.
Timchenko’s arguments boil down to the fact that Switzerland, by fulfilling Washington’s requirement to freeze assets, violated its own principle of neutrality. This could create a dangerous precedent, the plaintiff is sure. The sanctions themselves are purely political in nature, Timchenko is sure.
The formal basis for going to court was the commission that the Swiss branch of BNP Paribas bank continued to charge the businessman for maintaining an account to which he had no access.
In the spring of 2014, the day before the imposition of US sanctions, Timchenko sold his main asset at that time – a controlling stake in the major oil trader Gunvor. The buyer was the founder of the company, Torbjorn Tornqvist. Currently, Timchenko’s assets include large stakes in Novatek and Sibur.