Russia-Ukraine: Upkeep of yachts seized from Putin’s allies rack up millions in bills, who will bear the cost?
, 2022-04-06 02:00:00,
La Ciotat Shipyards, located in a tranquil area of the French Riviera, is preparing bills for mooring costs for the towering white superyacht Amore Vero but is unsure who to send them to.
Reuters reports that the towering 86-metre (282-foot) yacht according to the France finance ministry belongs to a business owned by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s closest allies Igor Sechin, the head of Russian state oil major Rosneft. Sechin is one of the many individuals facing sanctions in lieu of the Russian attack on Ukraine.
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France has legally seized the Amore Vero, according to Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, a move that grants the state custody of the yacht while leaving the costs to the owner.
According to two companies that service the yacht, authorities have not informed third parties of the vessel’s status, leaving it unclear who is responsible for its upkeep. An executive at La Ciotat Shipyards said the company was worried about how it would be paid as debts piled up.
Crew wages, repairs, fuel, food, insurance, berth fees, and onshore utilities can all add up to 10 per cent of the value of the largest superyachts, and it might amount to millions of dollars per month for some vessels.
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The financial riches of oligarchs is mostly unaffected in the European Union, but European states have restricted or seized physical assets, including houses and at least 11 superyachts.
The situation surrounding Amore Vero highlights the challenges authorities encounter as they target the assets of Putin’s supporters.
Frozen assets in Italy are handled by a publicly nominated administrator, with the state property agency covering maintenance costs. The owner must reimburse them later, or the state can sell the item to recuperate its costs.
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In France and Spain, the owner is still responsible for the running costs of a ‘frozen’ or confiscated boat. However, with the sanctions these owners face, they are often unable to make payments due to bank account blocks.
Another concern for governments, according to Giannis Markogiannis, a Greek lawyer specialising in international yachting law, insurance, and taxation, is that yachts may be held…
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