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By Gaspard Sebag and Stephanie Baker
(Bloomberg) –A Spanish court moved to seize a superyacht valued at $140 million that’s linked to a senior executive at a Russian defense conglomerate, after the owner stopped paying maintenance fees in June.
The court order to seize the 85 meter (279 feet) Meridian A — formerly called Valerie — was handed down by a Barcelona judge on Wednesday, according to the Spanish maritime authorities.
The vessel, linked to Rostec State Corp.’s chief executive officer, Sergey Chemezov, was immobilized in mid-March by Spanish authorities while it was at a Barcelona shipyard for repairs. The European Union considers the vessel is formally owned by the stepdaughter of Chemezov.
The court decision comes after the MB92 shipyard lodged a complaint when the vessel’s maintenance fees went unpaid.
Yachts owned by sanctioned businessmen have been immobilized in ports or naval yards across Europe in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. That includes the blocking in Germany of Dilbar — tied to billionaire Alisher Usmanov — and French authorities’ move to prevent a possible swift departure of the Amore Vero.
A luxury yacht once owned by sanctioned billionaire Dmitry Pumpyansky was sold for $37.5 million at auction in Gibraltar.
Spain has immobilized several other yachts from the $600 million Crescent believed to belong to Igor Sechin, Rosneft PJSC’s CEO, to the 48-meter Lady Anastasia. But, according to Spanish maritime authorities, the owners of the two vessels are paying mooring fees and crew salaries.
Chemezov was already sanctioned in September 2014, as part of a wave of U.S. and European sanctions following Russia’s invasion of Crimea. According to European Union data, Chemezov is a long-time associate of Putin.
MB92 representatives didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. Chemezov didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment sent to Rostec.
© 2022 Bloomberg L.P.
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