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The Treasury Department has expanded its Russian sanctions to target Moscow’s access to yachts as the US continues to retaliate on the invasion of Ukraine.
On Thursday, June 2 the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control announced that its latest actions are aimed at clamping down on a Kremlin-aligned yacht brokerage, several prominent Russian government officials, and Putin’s close associate and money manager, Sergei Roldugin.
Specifically, the Treasury blocked the use of two ships — the Russia-flagged Graceful and the Cayman Islands-flagged Olympia, saying Putin has used them for travel in the past.
“While the leader of Russia, Putin has taken numerous trips on these yachts,” the Treasury Department said in a press release, “including a 2021 trip in the Black Sea where he was joined by Alyaksandr Lukashenka, the OFAC-designated corrupt ruler of Belarus, who has supported Russia’s war against Ukraine.”
The U.S. and its allies have imposed a series of unprecedented sanctions on Russia’s economy since Moscow attacked Ukraine in February.
American officials also said financial penalties will be extended to companies and individuals who owned or managed the two boats, including Cyrus-registered SCF Management Services, Ironstone Marine Investments, JSC Argument and O’Neill Assets Corp.
The OFAC said it will target two other ships, Shellest and Nega. Shellest, officials said, occasionally travels to the coast where Putin’s infamous Black Sea palace is located, while Nega ferries Putin for travel in Russia’s north.
U.S. officials have for months said that Russian yacht and yacht management businesses are key to the country’s industrial complex and its web of shell companies that helps Moscow’s elite channel billions of dollars into luxury assets like superyachts and villas.