France and Spain allegedly allow sanctioned Russian oligarchs to pay for maintenance of ‘frozen’ superyachts

Image of hands holding banknotes. Credit: rame alsayed/

Sanctioned Russian oligarchs have allegedly been allowed to pay for the maintenance of their superyachts that were impounded in France and Spain.


According to a report from Reuters, citing sources, it is claimed that authorities in France and Spain allowed sanctioned Russian billionaires to pay for the maintenance of “frozen” superyachts. The report clarified that six vessels were held under the restrictions in Spain and that most of the owners paid for their boat’s maintenance on their own. In France, five yachts were ‘frozen’.

It was noted that the countries imposing sanctions prohibited any financial transactions in their jurisdictions for those who have fallen under the restrictions. However, Reuters claimed three sources informed them that the French and Spanish governments gave the Russians permission to make payments under EU and national legislation, which include crews, docking, and insurance fees.

As stated in the Spanish Ministry of Finance, the payment of expenses for the maintenance of assets is allowed under a law adopted after the introduction of anti-Russian sanctions in 2014. The department emphasised that the expenses remain the debt of the owners, since their ships were not confiscated, but fell under the ‘freeze’.

At the end of September, it was reported that the Gibraltar authorities sold the confiscated Axioma yacht, which allegedly belonged to Russian billionaire Dmitry Pumpyansky. The deal amounted to $37.5 million (€38.1m).


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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]


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