Mar 3, 2022 - World

France seizes yacht owned by a Russian energy oligarch

Russian President Vladimir Putin looking at Rosneft President Igor Sechin in Moscow in June 2019.
Russian President Vladimir Putin (on left) and Igor Sechin in Moscow in June 2019.

French authorities announced Thursday that they seized a yacht owned by Russian energy oligarch Igor Sechin.

Why it matters: Sechin is CEO of Rosneft, Russia's massive state oil and gas company, and a longtime close ally and adviser of President Vladimir Putin, according to the European Union. He has been financially sanctioned by multiple countries after Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

What they're saying: France seized the 280-foot Amore Velo yacht on March 2 in shipyards on the south coast of the country, according to a letter shared by Bruno Le Maire, France's economy minister.

  • Sechin was among the Russian elite that was the target of European Union sanctions announced on Feb. 28. The EU said he is "considered to be one of the most powerful members of the Russian Political elite."
The Amore Vero yacht in a shipyard near Marseille, southern France, on March 3.
The Amore Vero yacht in a shipyard near Marseille, southern France, on March 3. Photo: Nicolas Tucat/AFP via Getty Images

The big picture: The U.S. Department of Justice announced the creation of a task force to freeze and seize the assets of Russian oligarchs who have aided Putin's invasion of Ukraine, according to the New York Times.

  • Several other countries, including the United Kingdom, are drafting plans to seize property owned by Russian oligarchs linked to Putin, according to the Financial Times.

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