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France seizes a yacht linked to Rosneft chief Igor Sechin

France seizes a yacht linked to Rosneft chief Igor Sechin

Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin attends the session at the 2017 Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum in Saint Petersburg, Russia on June 2, 2017.

Siva Karacan | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

LONDON – French authorities have confiscated a yacht they said was linked to Russian oligarch Igor Sechin.

“Thanks to the French customs officers who are applying EU sanctions to those close to the Russian government,” French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said in a tweet Thursday, according to a Reuters translation.

According to a translation of a letter shared in the tweet, French authorities confiscated the Amore Velo yacht on March 2, after an inspection that took several hours. The 280-foot yacht is tuned up at La Ciotat shipyards on the southern coast of France.

Sechin included in a file existingpublished on February 28, about the Russian oligarchy to be subject to EU sanctions, in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The letter said the yacht arrived in La Ciotat on January 3, 2022, and was originally scheduled to remain there until April 1 for repairs. However, France’s finance ministry said the yacht was preparing to take off when authorities began examining it.

The ministry said that this attempt to leave constitutes a violation of the customs law with the aim of violating the planned economic and financial restrictions.

Sechin, a former Russian Deputy Prime Minister, has been CEO of the Russian state oil company Rosneft since 2012. According to the EU sanctions document, Sechin is one of the “most trusted and closest advisers to Russian President Vladimir Putin, as well as his personal friend.”

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The document also highlighted that Rosneft Aero, a subsidiary of Rosneft, is delivering jet fuel to Simferopol Airport. This airport provides flights between the annexed territories of Crimea, Sevastopol and Russia.

“Therefore he supports the consolidation of Crimea, which was illegally annexed to the Russian Federation, which in turn undermines the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine,” the document reads.