France has detained a yacht connected with Rosneft boss Igor Sechin

Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin attended a panel at the 2017 International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Russia on June 2, 2017.

Sefa Karadjan | Anatolian Agency Getty Images

LONDON – French authorities have detained a yacht that they say is linked to Russian oligarch Igor Sechin.

“Thanks to French customs officials for imposing European Union sanctions on those close to the Russian government,” French Finance Minister Bruno Le Mert tweeted on Thursday, according to a Reuters translation.

According to a translation of a letter shared on the tweet, French authorities detained the Amore Velo yacht on March 2 after an inspection that took several hours. The 280-foot yacht was confiscated at La Ciotat shipyards on the south coast of France.

Sechin was included in a list published on February 28 of Russian oligarchs who will be subject to European Union sanctions in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The letter states that the yacht arrived in La Ciotat on January 3, 2022 and originally had to stay there until April 1 to be repaired. However, the French Ministry of Finance said the yacht was about to take off when authorities began their inspection.

The ministry said the attempt to leave constituted a violation of the customs code in order to violate planned economic and financial constraints.

Sechin, a former Russian deputy prime minister, has been chief executive of Russia’s state oil company Rosneft since 2012. According to the EU sanctions document, Sechin is one of “the most trusted and closest advisers to Russian President Vladimir Putin, as well as personal advisers.” his friend. “

The document also emphasizes that Rosneft Aero, a subsidiary of Rosneft, supplies fuel for aircraft to Simferopol airport. This airport provides flight connections between the annexed territories of Crimea and Sevastopol and Russia.

“That is why he supports the consolidation of the illegally annexed Crimean peninsula to the Russian Federation, which in turn further undermines Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence,” the document said.