- Five luxury yachts owned by Russian oligarchs have sailed to Turkey, avoiding Western sanctions.
- The $400 million Flying Fox arrived on Sunday after leaving the Dominican Republic on April 22.
- Turkey has avoided sanctioning Russia, but a lawyer said the yachts could still be seized.
Five superyachts owned by Russian oligarchs are now docked in Turkey in a bid to avoid Western sanctions triggered by the invasion of Ukraine.
Oligarchs have sought to move their assets, such as luxury vessels and private jets, across the world over the possibility of being placed on sanctions lists. Many chose Turkey because it is yet to sanction Russia for its aggression.
Dmitry Kamenshchik, chairman of Moscow’s Domodedovo airport, owns a $400 million yacht called the Flying Fox that arrived in Bodrum, Turkey, on Sunday morning, according to ship-tracking site Marine Traffic.
The Flying Fox’s destination port was “not recognized,” but it was heading in the direction of Turkey, according to Marine Traffic.
The 224-foot vessel departed on March 30 from a port in Norway, where it had been stuck because local suppliers refused to refuel it or do business with its owner, Norwegian public broadcaster NRK reported at the time.
Meanwhile, Alexander Abramov’s $100 million superyacht, Titan, set sail from Dubai on April 22 and made its way through the Suez Canal, Insider previously reported.
Titan arrived in Fethiye, Turkey, but departed on May 5 and has been “cruising” in Turkish waters since then, according to Marine Traffic. It is now near the resort of Güvercinlik, tracking data indicates.
Solaris, a $600 million yacht owned by sanctioned billionaire Roman Abramovich, docked in Bodrum on March 21, Insider previously reported. A day later, his other superyacht – the $700 million Eclipse – arrived in Marmaris.
These five superyachts are at less risk of being seized because the Turkish government has previously criticized the sanctions imposed on Russia by the West.
However, Benjamin Maltby, a partner at Keystone Law who specializes in superyachts, told Insider that the vessels are “not automatically immune” in Turkey, given that the US was able to seize an oligarch’s yacht in Fiji.
“Ultimately, the fate of the new Turkish fleet depends on the beneficial owners’ relationship with the Turkish government,” he said. “The EU and the US will just have to wait for the political winds to change, and that wait may be a very long one.”