Ukrainian legislation and the relevant practice cases of the Supreme Court define sanctions as “an exceptional, temporary, extreme and necessary (non-random) measure” that the state must apply “in proportion to the threats to national interests, national security or to counter terrorist activities that the state is trying to prevent by using them” (Resolution of the Grand Chamber of the Supreme Court of July 07, 2022 in case No. 9901/348/21).
Pursuant to Article 3 of the Law of Ukraine “On Sanctions” (the “Sanctions Law“), “the application of sanctions is based on the principles of legality, transparency, objectivity, proportionality and effectiveness”, as well as in the presence of exceptional grounds provided for in Article 3 of the Sanctions Law. In its Decision of June 18, 2020 in case No. 9901/259/19, the Supreme Court stated that the grounds for the application of sanctions “must be valid, existent in objective real facts, supported by evidence that reliably testifies to the commission of such actions”, which are specified in Article 3 of the Law on Sanctions, in particular: “actions of a foreign state, foreign legal entity or individual, other entities that pose real and/or potential threats to the national interests, national security, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, promote terrorist activities and/or violate human and civil rights and freedoms, interests of society and the state, lead to the occupation of territory, expropriation or restriction of property rights, cause property losses, create obstacles to sustainable economic development, full exercise of rights and freedoms by citizens of Ukraine.“
The SBU Letter No. 5/7-9959 dated April 21, 2023 (the “SBU Letter“) does not contain any grounds for the imposition of sanctions against Parimatch Group companies in accordance with the strict requirements of the Sanctions Law. It appears from the content of the SBU’s brief conclusions that Group allegedly continued its business in the russian federation after the start of russia’s full-scale military invasion of Ukraine, but in support of these conclusions, the SBU pointed out the facts that at the time of the russian federation’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, no persons from the russian federation were part of the ownership structure of Parimatch Group.
The SBU letter is internally inconsistent and shows no causal link to the grave accusations against Parimatch they make, with generic information on the group included presenting no case. SBU position is therefore entirely indefensible.
Official statement of Parimatch LLC regarding the letter from the SBU published by RBC-Ukraine
Parimatch LLC, in compliance with the Constitution, laws of Ukraine and the decree of the President of Ukraine No. 145/2023 “On the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine dated March 10, 2023 “On the application and introduction of changes to personal special economic and other restrictive measures (sanctions)” ceased operations in March 2022.
The company applied for official explanations to the National Security Council, and later to the Security Service of Ukraine – since that the sanctioning mechanism was used because of the service’s submission. However, to date, no response to the official letters from the representative of Parimatch LLC has been received from the SBU. We publicly confirm our readiness to respond to the SBU’s requests and look forward to further bilateral dialogue.
Parimatch LLC vehemently denies all allegations made against it, namely that it, or any company of the Parimatch group, has ties with companies that do business in russia. It has obtained detailed legal analysis by international legal experts that conclusively prove that the Parimatch group of companies severed its ties with russian entities after russia’s illegal full-scale invasion of Ukraine and has no existing ties with any russian companies.
The latest article published on the website of RBC Ukraine on April 25, 2023, contains false information, and the Company has already publicly issued an official position contains flawed information and the Company will provide a full rebuttal in due course.
It is categorically untrue that there are citizens or residents of the Russian Federation in the ownership structure of the Parimatch group of companies. The companies of the Parimatch group of companies throughout the time owned licenses to conduct activities for the organization in Ukraine. These activities included gambling; and as such the Ukrainian companies of the Parimatch group of companies were regulated by CRGL, the authority responsible for checking the organizers of gambling for the presence of beneficial owners or shareholders of citizens or residents of the aggressor state. This in itself confirms the absence of citizens or residents of the Russian Federation in the ownership structure of the Parimatch group of companies.
The article also falsely describes the Cypriot service contractors who provided general secretarial and directorial services to the Parimatch group of companies. As an intermediary company, they provide professional services to a wide range of clients, among which, of course, there may be both citizens and legal entities of any country. The Supreme Court in its practice (in particular, the decision of 17.06.2020 in case No. 9901/259/19) explicitly recognised that such a connection does not serve as a basis for imposing sanctions.
Parimatch has been the subject of wrongful blacklisting and has so far, despite repeated requests, not received the details on which the allegations are based.