Russian oligarchs continue to flee from Western sanctions

Russian oligarchs continue to flee from Western sanctions
FILE PHOTO: The Eclipse superyacht, owned by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, is seen at the Port of Palm Beach in Riviera Beach, Florida, U.S. November 24, 2017. REUTERS/Joe Skipper/File Photo

Russian oligarchs had a dramatic rise after the fall of the Soviet Union, but all good things must come to an end, eh? Now, these oligarchs are running (or sailing) to the very few places they have left to go as Western sanctions crush and chase them from all sides.

France has said that it’s frozen more than EU€800 million in assets of Russian oligarchs, while the US government is offering to pay rewards of up to US$5 million for information about Russian oligarchs’ mansions, yachts and other assets.

All of this has oligarchs running to some of the only places they have left to go, like Turkey, which hasn’t imposed any sanctions. So now, the owner of Chelsea Football Club, Roman Abramovich, has put two of his five yachts there.

Key comments:

“We have frozen nearly EU€800 million in Russian oligarch assets,” said French government spokesman Gabriel Attal. “These sanctions can be felt in Russia where the economy is shaking, the ruble is crashing, the stock exchange is still largely closed and the central bank is strongly impacted.”

“We are joining with our European allies to find and seize your yachts, your luxury apartments, your private jets," US President Joe Biden said in his State of the Union address earlier this month. “We are coming for your ill-begotten gains."

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