The US Treasury announced Thursday that the US government has imposed sanctions on a yacht management company and its owners, describing them as part of a corrupt system that allows Russian elites and President Vladimir Putin to enrich themselves.
Imperial Yachting, headquartered in Monaco and controlled by Moscow-born Evgeny Kuchman, caters to the Russian oligarchs. The Treasury said Mr. Coachman and his company provide yacht-related services to “Russian elites, including those in President Putin’s inner circle.” The Treasury said Imperial Yachts does business with at least one person subject to the sanctions.
The Treasury also identified four yachts as associated with Mr. Putin: Shellest, Nega, Graceful and Olympia. The ministry said Mr Putin has used the Nega to travel in northern Russia, and Shellest regularly travels to his palace on the Black Sea. The treasury procedure did not name 459 feet Scheherazadean Imperial Yachts vessel, which US intelligence officials say was built for Mr Putin’s use.
“Russian elites, including President Putin, rely on complex support networks to conceal, move and preserve their luxury fortunes and assets,” said Brian Nelson, Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.
“We will continue to impose our sanctions and expose the corrupt regimes through which President Putin and his elites enrich themselves,” he said.
The ministry also announced sanctions against four Russian government officials and Yuri Slyusar, the head of a Russian state-owned company that supplies aircraft to the Russian military.
The US State Department, separately, imposed sanctions on Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Minister, and Russian billionaire Alexei Mordashov. The Ministry of Commerce has announced that it will add 71 organizations to its list of entities, in a bid to prevent the Russian military from importing key technology.
Russian Sergey Roldugin was also subject to sanctions cellist A longtime friend of Putin, the Treasury has described him as “the custodian of President Putin’s foreign wealth.” Mr. Roldugin has been added to the European Union Sanctions List In late February, days later Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It has been described as “Putin’s wallet.“
Mr. Kochman and Imperial Yachts were the focus of A New York Times investigation It shows that the company was at the heart of what is essentially an oligarchic industrial complex, a network of companies including German shipbuilders, French designers, distinguished Italian carpenters and Spanish anchors that serve the Russian oligarchy and employ thousands of skilled workers.
According to a US intelligence assessment, a group of investors led by one of the richest men in Russia, Gennady Timchenko, who has been under sanctions since 2014, provided the Imperial Yachts company with money for the purchase of three ships: Scheherazade, The Crescent and Amadea. Their total cost of $1.6 billion would have purchased six new frigates for the Russian Navy.
Imperial Yachts’ attorney Simon Clark denied that the company had any connection with Mr Timchenko, and said it had “never conducted business or provided services to any internationally sanctioned parties”.
But Treasury officials disputed that disagreement in their Thursday announcement.
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