Russian billionaire sues Australia over Ukraine sanctions

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Russian billionaire sues Australia over Ukraine sanctions

A Russian billionaire who is suing Australia's Foreign Affairs Minister claims that sanctions imposed over the invasion of Ukraine have caused him serious reputational damage.

Steel mogul Alexander Abramov launched legal action against Senator Penny Wong after the former government sanctioned 67 Russian elites and oligarchs over Moscow's invasion of Ukraine in April.

His lawyer Ron Merkel QCMerkel QC told the Federal Court on Friday that the sanctions caused serious reputational harm and the legal consequences had led to continuing financial losses.

Abramov, who co-founded Russia's largest steel producer, wants the sanctions removed, arguing that they are unique to Australia because no other country has placed similar bans on him.

The approach taken by the minister has been misconceived, he said.

Australia's sanctions have also impacted Mr Abramov's dealings in New Zealand. He said the case was unusual as former foreign minister Marise Payne announced her decision would form part of the suit.

On April 7, Senator Payne announced that the government had imposed targeted financial sanctions and travel bans on 67 individuals for their role in Russia's unprovoked, unjust and illegal invasion of Ukraine. The federal government was considering an application to prevent the public release of some information in court documents, Mr Lim said.

The matter will be before Justice Susan Kenny on August 26.