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France seizes superyacht from sanctioned Russian oligarch

Paris (CNN Business) — France has seized a yacht owned by Russian oligarch Igor Sechin, the French Finance Ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

Sechin is the CEO of Russian oil giant Rosneft. The European Union sanctioned Sechin earlier this week, describing him as one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “most trusted and closest advisers, as well as his personal friend.”

oligarch superyacht

Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin during a meeting with Russian President Putin.

The superyacht, called “Amore Vero” — or “True Love” in Italian — arrived in the French Mediterranean port of La Ciotat in January. It was scheduled to leave port on April 1.

“Thanks to the French customs officials who are enforcing the European Union sanctions against people close to the Russian government,” French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said in a tweet.

Sechin was Russia’s deputy prime minister from 2008 to 2012. The European Union said his connections with Putin are “long and deep,” and the two men are in daily contact.

Earlier this week, Le Maire announced that France has established a working group to complete a census of financial assets and luxury goods owned by Russian personalities targeted by EU sanctions.

BP said on Sunday it would drop its 19.75% stake in Rosneft and give up two seats on the company’s board.

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