Where are the oligarchs’ yachts?

2 minute read

Chief Executive of Rosneft company Igor Sechin attends a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow, Russia May 12, 2020. Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin/Kremlin via REUTERS

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NEW YORK, March 4 (Reuters Breakingviews) - Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has provoked tough sanctions from the United States and Europe. They cover some of the Russian president’s alleged cronies. An oligarch often holds part of his wealth, and part of his ego, in one or more lavish yachts. Sometimes they are worth more than $500 million each, and U.S. President Joe Biden has pledged read more to go after them.

Authorities in France this week seized the yacht read more of Rosneft (ROSN.MM) boss Igor Sechin, who is on the U.S. and EU sanctions lists. They said it was about to flee a French Riviera port. Meanwhile, a nearly $600 million vessel owned by EU-sanctioned billionaire Alisher Usmanov is in a Hamburg shipyard. A spokesman for Hamburg's economic authority denied that the government had seized it, according to Reuters.

Unfortunately for Western enforcers, these assets are literally floating. A handful of Russian-owned yachts are in the Maldives, Reuters reported. Others are in Middle Eastern ports, including Dubai in the United Arab Emirates read more . Secretive ownership arrangements can make tracking hard, but Forbes reckons it has located more than 30. Their crews had better be on the lookout. (By Richard Beales)

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(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are their own.)

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Editing by John Foley and Pranav Kiran

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