Chelsea owner Abramovich’s luxury yacht docks in Turkey

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A view of Russian metals and oil tycoon Roman Abramovich’s superyacht Solaris anchored in Tivat, Montenegro, Saturday, March 12, 2022. President Joe Biden has warned Kremlin-aligned oligarchs that the United States and its European allies are coming look for their superyachts. But seizing giant ships often worth hundreds of millions of dollars could prove difficult. Many boats are registered and registered in secret banking havens used by the ultra-rich to protect their wealth from taxes or seizures. Abramovich’s Solaris superyacht rises eight stories and features an elegant stockade of wide teak-covered decks that can accommodate a horde of well-heeled revelers. (AP Photo/Risto Bozovic)

PA

A yacht belonging to Chelsea football club owner and sanctioned Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich has docked in the Turkish resort town of Bodrum, Turkish media reported on Monday, amid international moves to freeze assets belonging to major Russian businessmen with close ties to the Kremlin.

Private Turkish broadcaster NTV said the Bermuda-flagged luxury yacht Solaris docked at Turkey’s southern port – which has not joined sanctions against Russia – after departing Montenegro.

A group of Ukrainians carrying Ukrainian flags with the words “No war” on them boarded a small motorboat and tried to prevent the yacht from docking, the Sozcu newspaper reported.

It was unclear whether Abramovich was on board the yacht or had been moved to Turkey to avoid sanctions.

Last week, the European Union imposed sanctions on Abramovich as it updated a list of individuals subject to asset freezes and travel bans because of their links to the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who sent the Russian army to invade Ukraine. Abramovich had already been punished in Britain.

Turkey, a member of NATO, maintains close ties with Russia and Ukraine. He criticized Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine but also positioned himself as a neutral party trying to mediate between the two.

Turkey has closed the Turkish Strait connecting the Black Sea to the Mediterranean Sea to most Russian warships, but has not imposed sanctions on Russia or closed its airspace to Russian flights.

Last week, Abramovich arrived in Istanbul from Jerusalem on his private jet before departing for Moscow the next morning.

Sharon P. Juarez