Language of document :

Action brought on 9 October 2014 – NK Rosneft a.o. v Council

(Case T-715/14)

Language of the case: English

Parties

Applicants: NK Rosneft OAO (Moscow, Russie); RN-Shelf-Arctic OOO (Moscow); RN-Shelf-Dalniy Vostok ZAO (Yuzhniy Sakhalin, Russia); RN-Exploration OOO (Moscow); and Tagulskoe OOO (Krasnoyarsk, Russia) (represented by: T. Beazley, QC)

Defendant: Council of the European Union

Form of order sought

The applicants claim that the Court should:

annul articles 1(2)(b), (c) and (d) and (3), and annex III of Council Decision 2014/512/CFSP of 31 July 2014 concerning restrictive measures in view of Russia’s actions destabilising the situation in Ukraine, as amended by Council Decision 2014/659/CFSP of 8 September 2014;

annul articles     3, 3a, 4(3)-(4), annex II, article 5(2)(b), (c), (d) and (3) and annex VI, and article 11 of the Council Regulation (EU) No 833/2014 of 31 July 2014 concerning restrictive measures in view of Russia’s actions destabilising the situation in Ukraine, as amended by Council Regulation (EU) No 960/2014 of 8 September 2014;

further or alternatively, annul the Council Regulation (EU) No 833/2014 and the Council Decision 2014/512/CFSP in so far as they apply to the Applicants;

order the Council to pay the costs of the proceedings.

Pleas in law and main arguments

In support of the action, the applicant relies on nine pleas in law.

First plea in law, alleging that the Council failed to provide reasons sufficient to permit a full review of either the substantive or procedural legality of the provisions which the Applicants seek to annul (the “relevant measures”), and breached the Applicants’ defence rights and rights to effective judicial protection with regard to the relevant measures.

Second plea in law, alleging that there has been no material produced by the Council which could or does justify the relevant measures as having a legitimate or lawful aim.

Third plea in law, alleging that the relevant measures are in breach of the EU’s international law obligations under the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with Russia and/or the GATT.

Fourth plea in law, alleging that the Council lacked competence to adopt the relevant measures, or those measures are unlawful, because no rational connection is either evident or provided by way of reasons between the stated aim of the Council Decision 2014/512/CFSP and the means chosen to further it.

Fifth plea in law, alleging that the Council Regulation (EU) No 833/2014 does not give proper effect to the provisions of the Council Decision 2014/512/CFSP in that the Council was not competent to adopt or, if it was competent, could not lawfully adopt, Article 3 of the Council Regulation (EU) No 833/2014 in that on its face (at least) it conflicts with the underlying provisions of the Council Decision 2014/512/CFSP, namely its Article 4.

Sixth plea in law, alleging that the Council had no competence to adopt, or could not lawfully adopt, relevant measures because they infringed the fundamental principle of equal treatment and non-arbitrariness.

Seventh plea in law, alleging that the Council had no competence to adopt, or could not lawfully adopt, relevant measures because they are not proportionate to, or have not been shown to be proportionate to, the aim pursued by the Council Decision 2014/512/CFSP. Further, as a consequence of their lack of proportionality, the provisions (a) encroach upon the Union’s legislative competences under the CCP and (b) constitute an impermissible interference with the Applicants’ fundamental rights to property and/or their freedom to conduct a business.

Eighth plea in law, alleging that, particularly in the absence of any explanation for the relevant measures and their nature, at least part of the purpose of the contested provision could have been to serve an aim other than the stated aim, and that in one further separate respect the powers conferred by the Council Decision 2014/512/CFSP have been misused.

Ninth plea in law, alleging breach of the constitutional guarantee of legal certainty, including in the lack of clarity of key terms in the relevant measures.