Russian billionaire businessman loses sanctions fight


A Russian billionaire businessman has lost a legal fight to remove sanctions against him.

On Friday, a Federal Court ruling upheld a decision made by Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong in September 2022 to re-impose measures against Alexander Abramov.

The sanctions against Mr Abramov, previously head of Russia's largest steel producer Evraz, and 66 other Russian elites were first imposed in April 2022 by the former government following the invasion of Ukraine.

Those sanctions were later revoked and then reimposed by Senator Wong.

"There was no relevant error with respect to the Minister's re-designation and re-declaration of Mr Abramov," the judgement stated.

Mr Abramov's lawyer previously rejected the Australian government's assertions that the steel magnate is economically or strategically significant to Russia, pointing to his self-proclaimed lack of political connections and his resignation as chair of Evraz.

The Australian government had claimed it was unlikely a businessman of his standing, with an estimated net worth of $6.4 billion, had no connections to the Russian government.