Hong Kong refuses to take action on Russian superyachts in the harbor
Hong Kong said that it would not seize the superyacht belonging to a Russian oligarch, who is subject to Western sanctions.
John Lee, chief executive of Hong Kong, stated that Hong Kong will be subject to United Nations sanctions, but not those imposed by “individual jurisdictions”.
Alexei Mordashov is the owner of the $521m (PS472m), boat. He is an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin and one of Russia’s wealthiest men.
After sailing from Russia, his yacht arrived in Hong Kong last Wednesday.
However, Mr. Mordashov isn’t believed to be on the list. After Russia invaded Ukraine earlier in the year, the US, UK, and EU sanctioned the billionaire.
However, Hong Kong’s government stated that it is not bound by these sanctions. The multi-story Nord superyacht, which is anchored in Victoria Harbour, has been a prominent sight for nearly a week with the Russian flag at its mast.
“We will comply with United Nations sanctions, That is our system, That is our rule of Law,” stated Mr. Lee. He has been sanctioned by America for his role in the implementation of Hong Kong’s repressive National Security Law.
The US, EU, and the UK have sanctioned hundreds more Russians and their companies. China has, however, remained an ally of Russia and has not yet condemned Moscow’s decision.
A spokesperson for the US State Department stated that Hong Kong’s reputation is dependent on compliance with international laws and standards. “The possibility that Hong Kong could be used as a haven for individuals who want to evade sanctions from multiple jurisdictions raises questions about the transparency of the business environment.”
It is not clear how long the superyacht will be in Hong Kong’s waterways.
Mr. Mordashov was in Moscow according to his spokesman. According to Forbes, he was Russia’s richest man before the conflict in Ukraine. He had a fortune of $29.1 billion, which he built through his steel-mining company Severstal.
His largest yacht asset is the Nord, according to his estimation. Forbes describes the 465-foot (141m), yacht as one of the most expensive boats in the world.
After it was taken by the Italian police at the port of Imperia, the billionaire had already lost the Lady M, a smaller boat that he owned, to Western sanctions.
Under Western sanctions related to the war in Ukraine, several Russian oligarchs’ boats were seized by the West and denied entry to European ports.
This has led to the movement of these boats to places around the globe that are not covered by Western sanctions, including ports in Asia, Turkey, and the Caribbean.
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