Johnson discusses sanctions imposed on Russian oligarchs
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While many Russian oligarchs moved their yachts to regions where sanctions are not in force and they cannot be seized, at least 13 mega yachts have been seized or impounded across the UK and EU. The mega yachts seized so far are each valued somewhere between £6million ($8million) and £461million ($606million), according to Bloomberg.
Four yachts are reportedly being held in Spain, including Lady Anastasia linked to Alexander Mikheev, worth £6million ($8million); Valerie linked to Sergei Chemezov, worth £72million ($95 million); Tango linked to Viktor Vekselberg, also worth £72million ($95 million); and £356m ($468million) yacht Crescent linked to Igor Sechin.
France and Italy are holding three vessels each, worth up to £170million ($224million) and £492million ($647million) respectively.
Germany is currently in possession of the largest yacht, the Dilbar.
Linked to Alisher Usmanov, the ship is valued at £461million ($606million).
Gibraltar, a British territory, is holding the £51million ($68 million) Axioma linked to Dmitry Pumpyansky, while the UK itself has taken control of the £29million ($38 million) Phi, linked to Vitaly Kochetkov.
Western nations have imposed sanctions on Russian individuals, businesses and financial institutions as a result of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
While it can be difficult to pin down who is the owner of a yacht, significant “public speculation” indicating that it is owned by a Russian oligarch is typically “sufficient for a seizure”, Business Insider journalist Joseph Zeballos-Roig and Hillary Hoffower explained.
Just yesterday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he would be “stepping up” sanctions on Russia.
Condemning Russia’s “despicable” civilian attacks, Boris Johnson pledged to increase military support for Ukraine.
In a statement, he added: “No denial or disinformation from the Kremlin can hide what we all know to be the truth – Putin is desperate, his invasion is failing, and Ukraine’s resolve has never been stronger.”
It is also expected that Mr Johnson will urge Germany to go further in punishing Putin for his actions in Ukraine.
This comes ahead of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s first meeting with Mr Johnson as chancellor.
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His statement came after Putin was accused of further war crimes after authorities in Ukraine found the bodies of executed civilians and mass graves in Bucha.
Spokesperson for Volodymyr Zelensky, Sergey Nikiforov told the BBC: “We found people with their hands and with their legs tied up… and with shots, bullet holes, in the back of their head.
“They were clearly civilians and they were executed.
“We found half-burned bodies as if somebody tried to hide their crimes but they didn’t have enough time to do it properly.”
UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said that Moscow must not be allowed to cover up “appalling acts” with “cynical disinformation”.
US President Joe Biden has also called for further sanctions, along with a war crimes trial against Putin.
He said: “You may remember I was criticized for calling Putin a war criminal.
“Well, the truth of the matter, you saw what happened in Bucha. This warrants him — he is a war criminal.
“This guy is brutal, and what’s happening in Bucha is outrageous, and everyone’s seen it.”
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