European powers are banding together to seize the financial assets of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s most trusted allies.
Since Friday, Italy has gained control of $156 million in yachts and villas from Russian oligarchs to pressure the Russian president to pull out of Ukraine after invading and waging war against the country Feb. 24.
Italy has targeted Gennady Timchenko’s superyacht “Lena” and Alexei Mordashov’s yacht “Lady M,” which is estimated to be worth $71 million. Villas in Tuscany and Como have also been seized.
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“Lady M” yacht
A villa owned by Russian-Uzbek business magnate Alisher Usmanov was reportedly seized in Northern Sardinia, but German officials denied those reports. Usmanov also reportedly owns Beechwood House in Highgate, London, worth an estimated 48 million pounds ($63.5 million), and the Sutton Place estate in Surrey.
The French have seized the yacht of Igor Sechin, who runs Russian energy company Rosneft.
“Amore Vero” yacht
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The Italian government intends to send a firm message by seizing the valuables of Russian oligarchs.
William Browder, CEO and co-founder of Hermitage Capital Management, which was once the largest foreign portfolio investor in Russia, said Putin keeps all of his money with the oligarchs.
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In the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces criticism for his lack of urgency to sanction the UK’s list of oligarchs.
Earlier this week, Chelsea Football Club owner and Putin companion Roman Abramovich said he plans to put the soccer team up for sale.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.