A superyacht linked to a Russian billionaire sanctioned over his alleged ties to Vladimir Putin has anchored in Hong Kong amid efforts by Western authorities to seize assets belonging to Moscow’s elite.
The Nord, a megayacht believed to be owned by steel magnate Alexey Mordashov, has been located in the Chinese city since its arrival from Russia’s Vladivostok on Wednesday.
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Mordashov, one of Russia’s richest men, was among a number of Kremlin-linked oligarchs sanctioned by the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Mordashov, the chairman of Russia’s largest steel company Severstal, has challenged the sanctions in European courts and insisted he has “absolutely nothing to do with the current geopolitical tensions”.
US and European authorities have seized more than a dozen yachts worth $2.25bn over their reported links to sanctioned Russian tycoons such as Mordashov, whose wealth was estimated at $21.2bn by Bloomberg earlier this year.
Some luxury yachts have travelled to Turkey, which has refrained from joining sanctions against Moscow.
The 464-foot-long (141-metre) Nord, which has two helipads and a swimming pool and is worth an estimated $500m, previously travelled to the Maldives and Seychelles before arriving in Vladivostok in March.
Hong Kong, which is nominally autonomous from mainland China, requires visiting yachts to seek permission to enter its waters and limits stays to no more than 182 consecutive days.
China has declined to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and criticised Western-led sanctions against Moscow, although analysts say it has been hesitant to openly violate sanctions for fear of jeopardising access to the US dollar-dominated financial system.