The European Union has ceased to be safe territory for the raids of the Russian billionaires linked to the Kremlin. And the most visible faces of him are acting accordingly. Two days before that the president Pedro Sanchez appeared before the cameras on Monday to announce the provisional immobilization of the superyacht Valerietheir managers requested permission from the Maritime Captaincy to leave the port of Barcelona, as confirmed to EL PERIÓDICO by the Captaincy itself. Property -according to all indications- of the head of the Russia’s largest arms companythe I already intended to put his foot down following in the wake of two other ships of Russian oligarchs who fled from Barcelona shortly after the start of the invasion of Ukraine.
The request to leave the port arrived at the Maritime Captaincy on March 13, a formality that all vessels over 24 meters in length must comply with. “ANDhe Valerie he informed us that he was leaving and it was there when it was decided to immobilize it, ”says Captain Javier Valencia, head of this agency dependent on the Ministry of Transport. It is not the Captaincy itself that makes the decision, but the General Directorate of the Merchant Marinewho chose to provisionally retain the yacht to check if it belongs to the more than 800 Russian citizens sanctioned by the EU since 2014, when Russia illegally annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of crimea. A list that has not stopped gaining weight in recent weeks.
The fate of the ship is now in the air. European sanctions do not contemplate confiscation or seizure of goods, as confirmed by sources from the Ministry of Transport, but its freezing to prevent punished individuals from profiting from the sale of their assets or using them as collateral to obtain financing. Hence the decision of the Spanish authorities, who feared that the luxury yacht of 85 meters in length, with heliport, swimming pool and nine suites, could escape sanctions if it ended up in another jurisdiction. Not in vain, the Valerie It has been for sale for several monthsto. His starting price is 101 million eurosas stated on the specialized website Super Yatchs Monaco.
Owned by a defense tycoon
“The difficult thing in these cases is to determine whether or not the assets belong to the sanctioned people, although in this case there are many suspicions that this is the case,” says Valencia, head of the Barcelona Maritime Captaincy. The Spanish authorities are now investigating the identity of the owner of the Valeriealthough everything indicates that it belongs to Sergey Chemezova former KGB agent reconverted to CEO of the state-owned company Rostec, a gigantic holding company dedicated to Defense. Among other products, it manufactures the kalashnikov, the main rifle of guerrillas around the world. And unlike other oligarchs, Chemezov has not distanced himself from Vladimir Putin since the invasion of Ukraine began. “We will be victorious”he said last week.
The ‘Aurora’ has also notified his departure
As usual among the great Russian fortunes, the boat is not registered in your name, but in the name of a figurehead buried under shell companies. In this case the figurehead would be Chemezov’s stepdaughter, Ignative Anastasiaas stated in the so-called ‘Pandora Papers’.
The Valerie has been in Barcelona since February 8 docked in the MB82 shipyards, dedicated to the repair and maintenance of the most stunning yachts in the world. Also still there dawna 74 meter long water toy owned by the Russian construction tycoon and the real estate business, Andrew Molchanov. His yacht also gave notice on March 13 of his intention to leave the city, although he has not yet done so. Unlike Chemezov, Molchanov does not appear on the list of European sanctions, which would also explain why Spain has not ordered the precautionary immobilization of the dawn.