Friday, August 19, 2022

Italy seizes Russian oligarch Melnichenko’s Sailing Yacht A

ROME, March 12 (Reuters) – Italian police have seized a superyacht from Russian billionaire Andrey Igorevich Melnichenko, the prime minister’s office said on Saturday, a few days after the businessman was placed on an EU sanctions list following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The 143-metre (470-foot) Sailing Yacht A, which has a price tag of 530 million euros ($578 million), has been sequestered at the northern port of Trieste, the government said.

Designed by Philippe Starck and built by Nobiskrug in Germany, the vessel is the world’s biggest sailing yacht, the government said.

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Melnichenko owned major fertilizer producer EuroChem Group and coal company SUEK. The companies said in statements on Thursday that he had resigned as a member of the board in both companies and withdrawn as their beneficiary, effective Wednesday.

A spokesperson for Melnichenko, Alex Andreev, said the businessman had “no relation to the tragic events in Ukraine. He has no political affiliations”.

“There is no justification whatsoever for placing him on the EU sanctions list,” Andreev said. “We will be disputing these baseless and unjustified sanctions, and believe that the rule of law and common sense will prevail.

Last week the Italian police seized villas and yachts worth 143 million euros ($156 million) from five high-profile Russians who have been placed on the sanctions list. read more

The police operations were part of a coordinated drive by Western states to penalize wealthy Russians they say are linked to President Vladimir Putin.

($1 = 0.9167 euros)

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Reporting by Emilio Parodi Writing by Giselda Vagnoni Editing by Frances Kerry

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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