Germany has seized the superyacht of a Russian oligarch close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, media reports said.
According to Forbes, the Dilbar, a 512-foot yacht owned by billionaire Alisher Usmanov, was confiscated by German authorities as it was in dock at a shipyard in the country undergoing a retrofit.
Two days earlier, the EU sanctioned Usmanov along with other Kremlin-linked oligarchs in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In a statement posted on the website of the International Fencing Federation, of which he had served as president until Monday, Usamov said: “On 28 February 2022 I became the target of restrictive measures imposed by the European Union I believe that such decision is unfair, and the reasons employed to justify the sanctions are a set of false and defamatory allegations damaging my honor, dignity, and business reputation.”
Usmanov’s luxury yacht – which according to its German builder Lurssen weighs close to 16,000 tons and contains an 82-foot swimming pool, two helicopter pads, a sauna, gym, beauty salon and 12 two-person suites – had been at the shipyard in Hamburg, Germany since October for repairs. It also houses a crew of 82 employees.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine, the EU and the US have targeted oligarchs linked to Putin for sanctions, in an effort to exert leverage on Putin.
On Monday, Republicans in the House put forward a bill that would enable American citizens to seize the yachts, planes and other property of Russian citizens under sanctions.
"Putin and his inner circle still have yachts and planes sitting in harbors and airports all over the world," Rep. Lance Gooden (R-TX), who put forward the bill, told Fox News Digital. "The United States must use every tool at our disposal to seize them and hold Russia accountable for the disgusting invasion of Ukraine. The oligarchs who enabled this crisis are a good place to start."