Andrey Melnichenko has become the latest victim of the new EU sanctions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine after the seizure of his €530 million (AU$793 million) Sailing Yacht A off the Italian coast.
At approximately 143 metres, Sailing Yacht A is the world’s largest motor yacht; designed by Frenchman Phillippe Starck with a radical exterior that almost resembles a military ship or submarine (as opposed to your more “basic” megayacht).
Notable features include 91-metre masts, an underwater observation area and swimming pool spanning across eight decks, and a total tonnage exceeding 12,000. In other words, the boat has everything you could possibly need to ball out in the Mediterranean. Or ball out on any major body of water, for that matter.
The $793 million nautical toy is currently being stored in the city of Trieste after Italian authorities seized Melnichenko’s vessel in the Adriatic sea. Melnichenko, 50, is a successful Russian businessman who made his US$12 billion (AU$16.2 billion) fortune as a major shareholder in the fertiliser company, Eurochem. He also owns and runs SUEK, Russia’s largest coal supplier.
The European Union’s Freeze-&-Seize task force targeted Melnichenko after identifying him as a key member in the Putin administration’s financial aid. In justifying their decision, a member of the EU Council stated that Melnichenko “belongs to the most influential circle of Russian businesspeople with close connections to the Russian government.”
The Russian Oligarch isn’t the first to feel the wrath of the EU’s powers, either. Several other influential business and political figures have now been in the crosshairs. Major Uralkali shareholder Dmitry Mazepin and former Haas F1 driver Nikita Mazepin have also been sanctioned by the British government. The family have been refused entry into the UK with the government freezing their UK-based assets.
With the situation evolving rapidly, it’s not exactly clear how much weight these measures will hold. But it definitely appears to be more like the beginning than the end of the situation unravelling in Eastern Europe.
Check out the video below for a detailed look at exactly what the Italians managed to get their hands on – the $793 million Sailing Yacht A.