AFP — A luxury superyacht owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich has docked in Turkey, which has not joined European sanctions against Moscow that have also targeted the Chelsea Football Club owner and other oligarchs.
Western nations are impounding such assets with links to wealthy Russians as part of efforts to pressure President Vladimir Putin over his invasion of Ukraine.
Abramovich was among the individuals listed under new sanctions adopted by the European Union last week.
The billionaire’s 140-metre (460-foot) Bermudan-flagged superyacht Solaris was filmed in the holiday resort of Bodrum in southwest Turkey on Monday, more than a week after being spotted at a port in Montenegro, which is not part of the EU.
NATO member Turkey, which has strong ties with Russia and Ukraine, has not joined sanctions targeting Moscow.
Western countries including the United States and the EU have imposed unprecedented sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, including placing oligarchs and other individuals close to Putin on sanctions lists.
Yachts owned by Russia’s richest have been seized by various nations, as US President Joe Biden vowed that allies are “coming for your ill-begotten gains.”
Abramovich, who also owns an even bigger yacht, the 162-metre Eclipse, has also been hit with a UK assets freeze and travel ban.
The 55-year-old Abramovich, who bought Chelsea in 2003, has denied claims that he bought the London club on Putin’s orders, to expand Russia’s influence abroad in the early 2000s.
Turkey has called Russia’s invasion “unacceptable” and positioned itself as a mediator for an end to the war.