Escaping from arrest, two superyachts arrived in Turkey, owned by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, on which European countries have imposed personal sanctions.
Abramovich's $700 million 160-meter Eclipse, which was the world's longest private yacht when it was delivered in 2010, is now docked in the Mediterranean resort of Marmaris, according to Ahval, vessel tracking data showed. The second yacht, My Solaris, worth $600 million, arrived in the resort town of Bodrum on Monday from Montenegro. Prior to that, she was in Spain.
Abramovich, known as the owner of the London football club Chelsea, is seeking to transfer his assets from Europe to more “friendly” countries after EU countries imposed personal sanctions against him and several other Russian billionaires after the start of a special operation in Ukraine.
With a crew of 70, Eclipse has two helipads, two swimming pools, several hot tubs, a mini-submarine and a high-tech self-defense system. Built in 2021, the new 138-meter Solaris, designed for a crew of up to 60 people, has eight decks, a helipad, a swimming pool, a spacious sun deck, bulletproof windows and a fully armored aluminum hull.
In the port of Bodrum, the yacht Solaris was prevented from mooring by protesters on a boat with a Ukrainian flag in their hands. The Turkish coast guard arrived to help, local media reported. A video of the protest was posted on Twitter.
The “Ark” for the transport of the Russian elite
NATO member Turkey, which has established close relations with Russia in recent years, has refused to introduce any sanctions against Russia or the oligarchs. European countries, including Italy and France, have already seized yachts, private jets and other assets from several sanctioned oligarchs.
Abramovich, 55, who is worth an estimated $13.6 billion, according to Bloomberg, was hit by UK and EU sanctions earlier this month. This means that Abramovich is forbidden to do business there.
Bodrum, located on the southwestern tip of Turkey, is one of the main resort cities in the country, where British and European tourists like to relax, first of all. Marmaris is also a favorite destination for British, German and other European tourists. And the Russians often choose the resorts of Antalya.
Abramovich's business jet landed in Istanbul on Monday last week, according to Flightradar24. The businessman was seen in the VIP lounge at Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport shortly before the plane took off. Later he flew to Moscow.
As noted by the publication, some analysts are concerned that Russia could use Turkey, its territory and financial system to circumvent Western sanctions. “The West needs a sober approach to Turkey if it wants to cut Russia off from financial flows, markets and trade. It is clear that Russia will indeed use Turkey,” said Tim Ash, Senior Emerging Markets Analyst at BlueBay Asset Management in London.
It was also noted that Turkish banks have tightened procedures for receiving funds or clients from Russia, reported Reuters last week, citing unknown bankers.
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