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Friday, July, 1, 2022

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Worth about $ 23.5 billion Russian oligarch’s megayacht, housed in peaceful Gulf of UAE

The motor yacht under the name "A" belongs to Andrej Melnichenko, who is under EU sanctions.

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In the desert, the northernmost emirate, one of the seven United Arab Emirates, one of the largest yachts in the world is anchored in a peaceful port and has so far managed to avoid the fate of other luxury vessels associated with Russian oligarchs who are under sanctions, writes AP.

The display of lavish wealth is astonishing when we consider that it is perhaps the poorest emirate in the UAE, which is only a 90-minute drive from the glittering skyscrapers of Dubai.

Also Read: UAE legitimizes the cryptocurrencies, a good signal for Russia amid sanctions

But the presence of a 118-meter-long motor yacht under the initials “A” in Ras al-Khaimah Bay also indicates the neutral status of the UAE when it comes to Russia’s war against Ukraine because this Gulf country is still a magnet for Russian money and its capital-rich oil sees Moscow as a key partner of OPEC.

They avoid open criticism of the war

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Since Russian tanks entered Ukraine, seven sheiks of the Emirate have offered refuge to Russians, both to those who despair and worry about the future of their country and to the mega-rich worried about Western sanctions.

While much of the world has imposed sanctions on Russian institutions and allies of President Vladimir Putin, the Emirates has not. They also avoid open criticism of the war, which government reports continue to call the “Ukrainian crisis.”

The motor yacht named “A” belongs to Andrey Melnichenko, an oligarch who weighs about 23.5 billion dollars, according to Forbes.

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Among other things, he was the owner of the fertilizer manufacturer Eurochem and SUEK, one of the world’s largest coal companies.

The 118-meter (387-foot) Motor Yacht A belonging to Russian oligarch Andrey Melnichenko is anchored in the port of Ras al-Khaimah, United Arab Emirates, Tuesday, May 31, 2022. In the dusty, northern-most sheikhdom of the United Arab Emirates, Motor Yacht A, one of the world’s largest yachts, sits in the quiet port — so far avoiding the fate of other luxury vessels linked to sanctioned Russian oligarchs. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

A member of Vladimir Putin’s inner circle

In March, the European Union included Melnichenko on a list of sanctions against business leaders and others described as close to Putin. The EU sanctions state that he attended the meeting on February 24, which Putin held on the day of the invasion.

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Also Read: The “World War III has begun”, a Russian propagandist confirms

“The fact that he was invited to attend this meeting shows that he is a member of Vladimir Putin’s inner circle and that he supports or implements actions or policies that undermine or threaten Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty, and independence, as well as stability and security in Ukraine,” the EU said.

superyacht-russian-oligarch-in-uae-ras-al-khaimah
The 118-meter (387-foot) Motor Yacht A belonging to Russian oligarch Andrey Melnichenko is anchored in the port of Ras al-Khaimah, United Arab Emirates, Tuesday, May 31, 2022. In the dusty, northern-most sheikhdom of the United Arab Emirates, Motor Yacht A, one of the world’s largest yachts, sits in the quiet port — so far avoiding the fate of other luxury vessels linked to sanctioned Russian oligarchs. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

Melnichenko resigned from the corporate positions he held in two large companies, according to company statements. However, he criticized Western sanctions and denied being close to Putin.

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A yacht worth $ 300 million

Melnichenko was not available for comment through his advisers.

Authorities in Italy have already seized one of his ships – a sailboat named “A” worth 600 million dollars. France, Spain, and Britain have also tried to seize superyachts linked to Russian oligarchs as part of a broader global effort to put pressure on Putin and the people close to him.

But the $ 300 million motor yacht still resists sanctions. The Emirate flag fluttered on it on Tuesday when Associated Press reporters filmed the ship.

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