UK Tightens Sanctions Targeting Russian Oligarchs' Yachts

March 31, 2022

Yachting Journal

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Britain put in place new legal powers on Wednesday to prohibit maintenance on aircraft and ships belonging to specific sanctioned Russian oligarchs or their businesses.

The government is acting in concert with Western allies to try to cripple the Russian economy as punishment for Moscow's invasion of Ukraine. It has targeted Russia's access to the international financial system, industries like shipping and defense, and wealthy elites close to President Vladimir Putin.

Britain said the new legislation effective from 1600 GMT prohibits maintenance on aircraft or ships belonging to specific sanctioned Russian oligarchs or their businesses.

"Today’s legislation adds new routes at our disposal to deprive oligarchs’ access to their luxury toys," Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps said in a statement.

The new powers were immediately used against oil tycoon Evgeny Shvidler, a billionaire businessman with close business links to Roman Abramovich, and billionaire Oleg Tinkov, founder of Moscow-based commercial lender Tinkoff Bank, the statement said.

The measures complement those already imposed by Britain and other states, as well as commercial decisions already taken by key industry players.

Plane makers Boeing and Airbus have already halted supplies of components to Russia and the United States and European Union have imposed sanctions on Russian aviation. 

Ship engine makers such as Finland's Wartsila have suspended ties with Russia and German counterpart MAN Energy Solutions is reviewing contracts.

Russia's maritime sector is also grappling with the winding down of other services including ship certification by leading foreign providers - vital for accessing ports and securing insurance - shipping companies pulling out and Western sanctions being imposed on its leading ocean transporter Sovcomflot.

Britain said its new legislation also extended the finance, trade and shipping sanctions imposed on Crimea, which was annexed by Russia from Ukraine in 2014, to territory not controlled by the Ukrainian government in Donetsk and Luhansk.

(Reuters - Reporting by William James, Kylie MacLellan and Kate Holton; Editing by Andrew MacAskill, Lisa Shumaker and Philippa Fletcher)