Russian billionaires are heading to Turkey to flee Western sanctions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
A yacht linked to a Russian aluminum tycoon arrived on Saturday in a bay near the southwestern Turkish resort of Gocek, as more Russian billionaires flock to Turkey to flee Western sanctions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Oleg Deripaska, founder of Russian aluminum giant Rusal, has been sanctioned by the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union.
A witness saw the 73-meter yacht Clio arrive off the coast of Gocek in the Aegean coastal province of Mugla. The ship flying the flag of the Cayman Islands remains in the bay off Gocek.
The Clio’s arrival in Turkish waters came after two superyachts linked to Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, who made a surprising appearance this month during Ukraine-Russia peace talks in Istanbul, docked in Turkish ports.
Turkey, a member of NATO, shares a maritime border with Ukraine and Russia in the Black Sea, has good relations with both and has mediated in the ongoing conflict.
Istanbul has supported Kiev but has also opposed sanctions against Moscow, including measures against Russian billionaires.
Relying heavily on imports of Russian energy and tourists, Ankara has become a safe haven for Russians fleeing sanctions, with many investing in Turkish property.
On April 4, the US government seized a mega yacht in Spain, the first in Washington’s sanctions enforcement initiative to “rob and freeze” giant boats and other expensive assets of Russian elites.
The Spanish Civil Guard and US federal agents descended on the yacht, Tango, in the Marina Real in the port of Palma de Mallorca, the capital of the Spanish Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea.
Documents related to the US investigation alleged that oligarch Viktor Vekselberg bought the Tango in 2011, using shell companies to hide his interest in the ship, the US Department of Justice said.
In early March, customs officials in France seized a yacht owned by the boss of Rosneft oil company Igor Sechin as it attempted to leave the Mediterranean port of La Ciotat in defiance of EU sanctions against Russian oligarchs.