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CHOPPY WATERS

Abramovich’s yachts set sail after EU puts Russian billionaire on its sanctions list

Roman Abramovich.

Roman Abramovich’s superyachts are on the move as the European Union adds the Russian billionaire’s name to its sanctions list.

The 458-foot Solaris departed Montenegro on Monday and is currently heading south off the coast of Albania. His other yacht, the 533-foot Eclipse, is located north of Algeria, travelling east after a transatlantic crossing.

Abramovich’s “privileged access” to Russian President Vladimir Putin has “helped him to maintain his considerable wealth”, the EU said Tuesday in adding him and 14 other people to its roster of sanctioned individuals.

This comes hot on the heels of similar penalties levied against Abramovich by the UK last week. Montenegro, though not a member of the EU, has previously said it would comply with the union’s decrees, which have led to the blocking of Russian-controlled vessels docked within the bloc.

Also sanctioned Tuesday was Victor Rashnikov, chairman of Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works. Rashnikov’s yacht, Ocean Victory, was last located in the Maldives, but its position hasn’t been reported since March 1, according to Bloomberg data.

Authorities around Europe have stepped up their campaign against sanctioned tycoons with ties to Putin, with Spain on Monday taking control of a yacht linked to Sergey Chemezov, head of Russia’s Rostec State Corp, at the port of Barcelona, according to published reports.

Neither the Solaris nor the Eclipse list a destination in its data. The two superyachts collectively cost well in excess of $1-billion.

One of Abramovich’s private jets has also moved. On Sunday, his Gulfstream G-650 left Moscow for Israel, returning Monday via Istanbul, according to flight tracking website ADS-B Exchange. A photograph of Abramovich, who is also an Israeli citizen, in Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport shortly before his plane departed was obtained by Reuters.

Abramovich (55) is the largest shareholder of Evraz, Russia’s second-biggest steelmaker, and also owns a stake in metal producer Norilsk Nickel. He has said he will sell Chelsea FC, the UK football club he’s owned for almost two decades, in the fallout over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Abramovich is Russia’s eighth-richest person, with a net worth of $13.6-billion, according to the Bloomberg wealth index.

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