The US Treasury announced, on Thursday, new sanctions against Russian personalities and yachts as part of an attempt to “undermine the main networks used by Russian elites, including President Vladimir Putinto try to hide and move funds and take advantage of luxury assets around the world anonymously.”
The Treasury Department’s foreign asset control official said the measures were aimed at “a Kremlin-biased yacht brokerageand several prominent Russian government officials, Putin’s close partner and money manager, Sergey Roldugin, and the trustee of President Putin’s foreign fortune.
“Russian elites, even President Putin, rely on complex support networks to conceal, transfer and preserve their luxury wealth and assets,” Brian Nelson, the Treasury’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a statement. “Today’s action demonstrates that the Treasury can and will prosecute those responsible for protecting and preserving these illicit interests.”
Targeted entities Thursday include “the Cayman Islands-flagged Olympia and the Russia-flagged Olympia,” which the Treasury says are “prohibited property of interest to President Vladimir Putin.”
While in command of Russia, Putin made several trips on these yachts, including a 2021 trip in the Black Sea where he was joined by Alexander Lukashenko, the corrupt OFAC-designated governor of Belarus, who supported Russia’s war against Ukraine. “
In addition to targeting Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, the Treasury says it has imposed sanctions on Putin’s financial “middleman”, Sergei Roldugin.
“Sergei Roldugin is a close friend and part of the regime managing President Putin’s foreign wealth,” their statement read. “The two have known each other for more than four decades, and Roldugin is the godfather of one of Putin’s daughters. Roldugin is a cellist, conductor and artistic director of the St. Petersburg House of Music, a state-owned cultural institution in Russia.”
Sanctions also targeted the Cayman Islands-flagged yacht Madame Joe and a helicopter on board, which imposed sanctions on “Russian State Duma member and billionaire Andrei Vladimirovich Skoch,” according to the Treasury.
“Madame Jo’s 324-foot tall, $156 million Madame Joe includes an elevator, beach club and gym, and requires major maintenance and repair, including nearly $1 million for paint annually,” she added.
Other new sanctions targets on Thursday include Yuri Slyusar, “the head of United Aircraft, a Russian state-owned company that has supplied aircraft that the Russian military has used to threaten and destabilize Ukraine” — and Imperial Yachts SARL, which also has “yacht-related services to elites,” the Treasury said. Russian Federation, including those in President Putin’s inner circle.
“When the yachts are not in use by the owners, they can be offered for rent through companies like Imperial Yachts, generating income for the owners, who are in some cases among Russia’s oligarchs,” she added.
“As a result of today’s actions, all property and interests in property of the persons identified above that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC,” the Treasury statement concluded.
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