Russian yachts seized by Western countries become money pits

Their maintenance is the responsibility of the countries that seized them, which costs millions of euros to taxpayers.

They have been moored since February 2022 in ports… and they are expensive. A year ago, with the invasion of Ukraine, Western countries were rushing to seize the assets of Russian oligarchs supporting Vladimir Putin. Among these seizures, there were in particular luxury yachts, especially in the Mediterranean.

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Problem: these ultra-luxurious boats must be maintained in order not to lose their value, the countries which seized them are therefore forced to pay millions of euros.

Anti-missile radars, submarines and retractable helipads

The most emblematic case is that of Yacht A, the largest sailboat in the world, screwed for a year at the quay of the port of Trieste, in Italy, for lack of being able to identify its real owner, supposed to be Andrey Melnichenko. The ship whose purchase price has been estimated at 417 million has already cost more than seven million euros to Italian taxpayers.

The Dominican Republic is also struggling with one of these ships, for which it must pay around 10% of the total value to maintain it. This figure can still swell depending on the characteristics of each boat. “Some have anti-missile radars, others their own submarines or retractable helipadsexplains Alex Finley, a former CIA agent, now a specialist in Russian influence converted into a Yachts tracker. All of these technologies require maintenance. Not necessarily so that everything works perfectly, but, at least, so that these devices do not present any danger for the personnel of the port or for the crew. Crews, today as prisoners of these luxury yachts.

This is the case of the sailors of the Amore Vero, 86 meters long, owned by Russian billionaire Igor Setchine, moored in La Ciotat, in the Bouches-du-Rhône. But in this case, maintenance remains provided by one of the owner’s front companies.

source site-25