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Russian Recreational Pilots not targeted by European Union Restrictive Measures

On 20 December, the General Court of the European Union has issued a significant decision*, stating that the restrictive measures against Russia do not apply to Russian citizens holding a private pilot’s license who wish to take off, fly over, or land on European territory.


This expected judgment comes following an action filed by Moyse & Associates on behalf of a bi-national citizen who is both a Russian and a Luxembourgish national, holding a Luxembourgish private pilot’s license. The action aimed to declare null and void the prohibition issued by the Council** against flights of non-registered aircraft in Russia but owned, chartered, or controlled by Russian citizens or entities.


Although the Court dismissed the action, citing its lack of authority to review measures established by a Council decision falling under the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), it clarified the application of this measure, emphasizing that prohibiting Russian citizens with a private pilot’s license from practicing their activity would be manifestly inappropriate in relation to the European Union’s objective of exerting pressure on the Russian president and his government.


This decision represents a significant step forward in protecting individual freedoms while acknowledging the necessity of restrictive measures against Russia. Moyse & Associates welcomes this clarification from the Court and remains committed to defending individual rights in line with international security imperatives.


* Arrêt du 20 décembre 2023 du Tribunal de l’Union européenne dans l’affaire T-233/22 | Islentyeva/Conseil

** Décision (PESC) 2022/335 du Conseil, du 28 février 2022, modifiant la décision 2014/512/PESC concernant des mesures restrictives eu égard aux actions de la Russie déstabilisant la situation en Ukraine ; règlement (UE) 2022/334 du Conseil, du 28 février 2022, modifiant le règlement (UE) no 833/2014 du Conseil concernant des mesures restrictives eu égard aux actions de la Russie déstabilisant la situation en Ukraine.


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