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France Seizes Yacht Connected to Putin Ally

This photo provided by French Customs shows the yacht 'Amore Vero' docked in the Mediterranean resort of La Ciotat, March 2, 2022. French authorities have seized the yacht linked to Igor Sechin, a Putin ally who runs Russian oil giant Rosneft.

The French government Wednesday seized a yacht connected to Russian oil oligarch Igor Sechin, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, as part of European Union sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In a written statement posted on his official Twitter account, French Minister of Public Action and Accounts Olivier Dussopt said the 85.6-meter yacht — the Amore Vero — was seized by French customs agents at a shipyard at La Ciotat, near Marseille, in the south of France. The statement said the yacht is owned by a company "in which Sechin is the main shareholder."

Sechin runs Russian petroleum company Rosneft and is also a former Russian government official.

Dussopt’s Twitter post includes a photograph of the yacht, which reportedly features a swimming pool that turns into a helipad, as well as multiple decks, including one with a hot tub.

The statement says the boat arrived in La Ciotat on January 3 for repairs and was scheduled to remain there until April 1. French customs officers say when they arrived to inspect the yacht, its crew was preparing an urgent departure, even though the repair work wasn’t finished, the statement said. The boat was seized to prevent its departure.

Forbes magazine has reported that German authorities have seized the superyacht Dilbar belonging to billionaire Alisher Usmanov, but the report has not been confirmed.

Some information for this report came from the Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.