A sanctioned Russian oligarch superyacht has mysteriously appeared off the coast of Hong Kong. That reports CNN. The European Union and the United States imposed several sanctions on the oligarchs linked to Putin. However, Hong Kong only imposes “the sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council”.
CNN spotted The Nord, which is nearly 140 feet tall and said to be one of the world’s largest yachts, in Hong Kong waters, just minutes from the city centre. The ship is valued at at least $500 million and is widely considered the property of Alexei Mordashov, one of Russia’s richest billionaires, according to a yacht broker who spoke to CNN. Mordashov’s net worth is $18.7 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He is also chairman of the board of Severstal, a giant Russian steel and mining company that at last count had 54,000 employees in 69 countries.
According to the Chinese city’s naval department, the yacht, which is one and a half times the size of an American football field, arrived in Hong Kong on Wednesday from the Russian port of Vladivostok. The government agency told CNN on Friday that it had not yet been notified when the yacht would depart for its next destination.
Since Friday noon, the Russian flag has been flying to the north, with the name of its main base, “Vladivostok”, on its rear. A few people, believed to be crew members in uniform, were seen on deck.
The US State Department imposed sanctions on Mordashov and Severstal in June, along with three other companies of the billionaire, his wife and two adult children. In a statement, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said at the time that the Treasury was taking other measures to “destroy the networks that allow Russian elites, including President Putin, to exploit luxury assets around the world anonymously.”
Mordashov appealed the penalties imposed on him in European courts. In May, he said that an EU court should overturn a decision to add him to the list of those convicted of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “I have absolutely nothing to do with the emergence of the current geopolitical tension and do not understand why the European Union imposed sanctions on me,” he said this spring, at the beginning of the war, according to the Russian news agency TASS. .
The United States is not the only country that is acting decisively. Several luxury yachts owned by Russian businessmen were confiscated this year in high-profile cases around the worldincluding Spain, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
Asylum and veto rights
Hong Kong can be a haven. Hong Kong’s Navy Department told CNN on Friday that it “does not comment on individual vessel entry cases.” The Navy Department said the city is asking overseas yacht owners to obtain permission from authorities to enter, including providing proof of insurance. “We note that some countries may impose unilateral sanctions against certain places based on their own considerations,” the ministry said.
The ministry added that the government “does not apply unilateral sanctions imposed by other jurisdictions, and we do not have the legal authority to take action on them,” and only said that it would “avoid the sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council.” “.
Russia and China – and Hong Kong is a part of it – are two of the five members of the Security Council with veto power. Russia has consistently vetoed Security Council resolutions in recent months, impeding action against Ukraine.
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