R (PJSC Rosneft Oil Company, Formerly OJSC Rosneft Oil Company) v Her Majesty's Treasury, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, The Financial Conduct Authority
Case C-72/15, Court of Justice of the European Union, 23 February, 31 May 2016; 28 March 2017
Reference for a preliminary ruling - Common Foreign and Security Policy (CSFP) - Restrictive measures adopted in view of Russia's actions destabilising the situation in Ukraine - Provisions of Decision 2014/512/CSFP and Regulation (EU) No 833/2014 - Validity - Jurisdiction of the court - EU-Russia Partnership Agreement - Obligation to state reasons - Principles of legal certainty and nulla poena sine lege certa - Access to capital markets - Financial assistance - Global Depositary Receipts - Oil sector - Request for interpretation of "shale" and "waters deeper than 150 metres" - Inadmissibility
On 31 July 2014, the European Council adopted, within the framework of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (the "CSFP"), Decision No 2014/512 (the "Decision"), subsequently amended in September and December 2014, supported by Council Regulation No 833/2014 (the "Regulation"), later amended by Council Regulation No 960/2014, in response to the actions of the Russian government with regard to Ukraine. These prohibited the supply of financial services to entities either incorporated or operating in Russia as well as the supply of other forms of financial assistance or of oil exploration equipment and technology to Russian entities engaged in oil exploration and in particular prohibited the provision of certain services necessary for "deep water" and "arctic" oil exploration and production or "shale oil projects" in Russia. The Regulation and its amendment were then implemented in the UK through a series of secondary legislation, which imposed criminal penalties for breach. One of the entities affected by the sanctions was PJSC Rosneft Oil Company ("Rosneft"), which brought proceedings before the General Court of the Court of Justice of the European Union (the "court") to challenge the EU Decision and Regulations and also proceedings before the English High Court (the "High Court" to challenge the UK's implementing legislation. Since the UK's legislation implemented the EU measures, the High Court made a request to the court, under article 267 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (the "TFEU"), for a preliminary ruling on a number of questions regarding the Decision and Regulation.
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