Russia's Rosneft is awaiting a European court ruling on what it claims are illegal sanctions linked to Moscow's involvement in Ukraine. But one analyst suggests the case may be a backdoor effort by the Kremlin to circumvent trade and business restrictions.
Companies like Rosneft have been under EU sanctions since 2014, shortly after similar measures were introduced by the U.S. These penalties were an effort to heap pressure on Russia over the annexation of Crimea and for allegedly backing separatists that helped extend Ukraine's civil war.
Sanctions have blocked the oil major from foreign financing and launching joint projects with Western firms, adding strain to a company already suffering the effects of low oil prices, which have dropped around 70 percent from mid-June in 2014.