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EU court annuls sanctions against Russian driver

A Russian Formula 1 driver, Nikita Mazepin, won a court case on Wednesday to have EU sanctions imposed on him in the wake of Russia’s massive invasion of Ukraine.

The EU General Court in Luxembourg ruled that a family connection with his father, Russian businessman Dmitry Mazepin, is not sufficient to impose sanctions on the driver.

A statement from the General Court of the European Union stated that “the existence of a link going beyond a family relationship”, such as a common interest, was necessary to target people associated with a sanctioned individual.

The court ruled that the European Union had not provided sufficient evidence for such a connection.

The EU listed Mazepin for sanctions in March 2022, freezing his assets in the bloc and banning him from entering EU member states.

The EU has extended these sanctions three times every six months since they were first adopted, but has now been ordered to remove Mazepin.

The driver, formerly with Haas F1, was targeted because his father’s companies sponsored his racing team.

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The driver’s father, a Russian fertilizer magnate, is also subject to EU sanctions but has so far failed to have the punitive measures lifted.

Nearly 2,000 individuals and organizations are targeted by EU sanctions as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with dozens of lawsuits challenging the punitive measures filed in court.

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