Times: Russian oligarch yachts find refuge in Turkey to avoid sanctions

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The total value of this Russian “fleet” in Turkey is estimated at 2.2 billion pounds, which is higher than the value of all the yachts already confiscated by Western governments after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

London, Thanasis Gavos

In Turkish waters and ports they have found shelter yachts of Russian oligarchs to avoid seizure under Western sanctions against Vladimir Putin’s circle, according to a report by Times.

The British newspaper reports that one in four luxury yachts believed to belong to wealthy Russians who have been sanctioned by the US, at least ten vessels, are moored in Turkish ports.

The total value of this Russian “fleet” in Turkey is estimated at 2.2 billion poundsi.e. higher than the value of all the yachts already confiscated by Western governments after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

None of these yachts were on Turkish shores at this time last year, i.e. before the sanctions, but instead they were sailing in the seas of Greece, Italy, France and Spain.

Off the coast of Halicarnassus is his ultra-luxurious boat Roman Abramovich ‘Solaris’, worth £402m, with 48 cabins on eight decks and a helipad.

His other large vessel, the £363m ‘Eclipse’ with its mini-sub and missile launcher, is also on a Turkish island.

The investigation highlights how Turkey, which has not imposed restrictions on the Putin regime since the invasion of Ukraine, has become a haven for yachting Russian oligarchs“, notes the Times.

Noting that Turkey is the only NATO member country that has not imposed economic sanctions on Moscow, the paper adds that Washington is increasingly alarmed by how Russia’s government and businessmen are using Turkey to escape economic sanctions. and Western trade restrictions.

In the same report it is stated that the value of Turkish exports to Russia in May-June increased by almost 50% compared to last year’s corresponding period, at an eight-year high.

It is also noted that the Russian oligarchs are also attracted by the Turkish citizenship program against buying real estate or government bonds. The newspaper reports that until the change in the situation, the Russian oligarchs preferred Cyprus for obtaining citizenship.

In a commentary by the Times, it is noted that Turkey emerged as a haven for luxury Russian yachts while Turkish Bayraktar drones were attacking Russian targets in Ukraine.

Selling arms to Kyiv while providing sanctions protection for Russian money helps Erdogan preserve Turkey’s narrow interests while balancing on a tightrope in East-West relations“, explains the newspaper.

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