Russian superyachts stay away from the French Riviera
By K. Oanh Ha (Bloomberg) The French Riviera is a little different this summer: the Russian superyachts you can usually see gliding across its sparkling blue waters are nowhere to be found.
Facing sanctions for their ties to President Vladimir Putin and supporting his invasion of Ukraine, Russian tycoons are moving their multimillion-dollar yachts to places where they are less likely to be seized by the United States. States and other governments. Once in the Sanctuary, the ships remain in place.
“It’s really rare to see megayachts sitting in port for months, especially during the summer,” when tycoons like to show off their yachts along the southern coast of France, said Denis Suka, a media influencer. known as the Yacht Mogul which charters and helps sell vessels for clients.
A task force focused on Russian tycoons has blocked or frozen more than $30 billion in sanctioned assets, including yachts and luxury real estate in just over 100 days, according to the US Treasury. The crackdown has left superyacht owners with few destinations to choose from as they avoid some of the world’s most popular hangouts for the rich and famous.
“Many Russian-owned megayachts are no longer free to roam,” Suka said. “They have to be careful where they navigate them or they will be seized.”
Here are some examples of Russian-owned superyachts keeping a low profile, according to analysis of ship data compiled by Bloomberg:
My Solaris and Eclipse
Roman Abramovich, the former owner of Chelsea Football Club, owns a fleet of yachts, including one of the most expensive in the world. The $600 million My Solaris, which has 48 cabins on eight decks, left Barcelona just weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine and headed for Turkey’s Aegean coast, landing at Yalikavak on April 4 and not leaving since.
The Eclipse, another yacht linked to Abramovich, has been in waters near the town of Gocek in southwestern Turkey since late April. He first arrived in Turkey at the end of March from the Caribbean island of Saint Martin.
It was a different story for both superyachts last summer when My Solaris sailed from Barcelona to Cannes. Among the stops along the way, he anchored off Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, a peninsula near Nice known as an enclave for billionaires, with lush estates and private beaches. The Eclipse, meanwhile, frolicked around hotspots like Saint-Tropez.
Turkey has become a popular hiding place since the invasion of Ukraine, as it is one of the few countries not to seize Russian assets. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in late March that sanctioned Russian oligarchs were welcome as tourists and investors, as long as their activities were legal.
The UK and European Union sanctioned Abramovich, while a US judge signed a warrant for the seizure of a Boeing Co. 787-8 Dreamliner and Gulfstream G650ER that US authorities say Russia owns or controls . He hired a US law firm to challenge the warrant.
Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden has pushed for legislation that would allow the US to seize yachts and other assets from sanctioned Russians, liquidate them and use those funds to benefit Ukraine. The EU is considering similar measures.
The 290ft Nirvana, linked to mining billionaire Vladimir Potanin, has been moored in Dubai since March 7. Last year, the $300 million superyacht cruised the Adriatic Sea along the Croatian coast, stopping in Pula and Vodice, as well as Vis Island. He traveled to Genoa in Italy last September.
Last week, the UK imposed sanctions on Potanin, Russia’s richest person and chairman of MMC Norilsk Nickel PJSC. Potanin, who has a net worth of around $31.5 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, said he is ready to discuss the mining giant’s merger with United Co Rusal International PJSC as sanctions weigh on the two companies.
The US-sanctioned Sea Rhapsody, linked to Andrey Kostin, arrived in Seychelles in the Indian Ocean in early March and has not left. A year ago he was sailing in southern Italy, spending most of the summer near Naples and Capri. In mid-August, the ship sailed to Albania and then to Montenegro.
By K. Oanh Ha © 2022 Bloomberg LP