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Russian oligarch Abramovich’s superyachts dock in Turkey

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Two luxury superyachts owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich have docked in Turkey, which has not joined European sanctions against Moscow targeting the Chelsea Football Club owner and other oligarchs, Agence France-Presse reported, citing the local media on Tuesday.

Western nations are impounding such assets with links to wealthy Russians as part of efforts to pressure President Vladimir Putin over his invasion of Ukraine.

Abramovich was among the individuals listed under new sanctions adopted by the European Union last week.

Early Tuesday, his more than 160-metre (525-foot) Bermudan-flagged yacht, the Eclipse, moored in the southwestern port of Marmaris, according to Turkish newspapers citing maritime traffic tracking sites.

It is his second yacht to have set down anchor in Turkey.

The billionaire’s 140-metre superyacht Solaris was filmed in the holiday resort of Bodrum also in the southwest, Monday, more than a week after being spotted at a port in Montenegro, which is not part of the EU.

A group of Ukrainian protesters approached the Solaris in an inflatable dinghy shouting slogans in opposition to its arrival in Turkey, local media said.

“You’re not welcome here. No to war in Ukraine. Go away Russian boat, go away!” they shouted, carrying a Ukrainian flag.

NATO member Turkey, which has strong ties with Russia and Ukraine, has not joined sanctions targeting Moscow.

Western countries including the United States and the EU have imposed unprecedented sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, including placing oligarchs and other individuals close to Putin on sanctions lists.

Yachts owned by Russia’s richest have been seized by various nations, as US President Joe Biden vowed that allies are “coming for your ill-begotten gains.”

Abramovich has also been hit with a UK assets freeze and travel ban.

The 55-year-old Abramovich, who bought the Chelsea football club in 2003, has denied claims that he bought it on Putin’s orders, to expand Russia’s influence abroad in the early 2000s.

Turkey has called Russia’s invasion “unacceptable” and positioned itself as a mediator for an end to the war.

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