According to a statement from the French finance ministry on Thursday, the country has seized a yacht owned by Russian oligarch Igor Sechin, who is the CEO of Russian oil giant Rosneft.
Sechin was sanctioned by the European Union earlier this week, and the group described him as one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “most trusted and closest advisors, as well as his personal friend.”
The yacht, which is named “Amore Vero” – meaning “True Love” in Italian – made it to the French Mediterranean port of La Ciotat in January and was scheduled to exit the port on April 1. “Thank you to the French customs officers who are enforcing the European Union’s sanctions against those close to the Russian government,” said French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire in a Twitter post.
Sechin had been the deputy prime minister of Russia from 2008 through 2012, and the European Union noted that his connections to Putin are “long and deep,” as the two men continue to have daily contact with one another.
Le Maire announced earlier this week that France has also set up a task force to complete a census of financial assets and luxury goods that are owned by Russian personalities targeted by European Union sanctions.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began last week following a months-long buildup of troops along the border of the two countries by Moscow. Russia had been demanding that Ukraine never be given membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), but it looks as though that demand will never be met.
In response to the invasion, many countries, including the United States and several European nations, have imposed sanctions on Russia as punishment.
ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: THE GUARDIAN