ISTANBUL (Reuters) – A superyacht linked to the Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich moved to another bay near Turkey’s resort of Bodrum on Monday, having arrived in Turkish waters after the oligarch was sanctioned by the EU and Britain following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Solaris left a cruise port in central Bodrum a day after the London-listed operator of the port, Global Ports Holding, said the decision to allow ships or yachts to dock was the responsibility of Turkish authorities.
The company said it did not receive “any service fee or other payments concerning the berthing of this superyacht at Bodrum Cruise Port”.
Abramovich was among several wealthy Russians added last month to EU and UK blacklists over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and EU governments have acted to seize yachts and other luxury assets from them.
World governments are seeking to isolate President Vladimir Putin and his allies over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which the Kremlin calls a “special military operation”.
Abramovich made a surprise appearance as part of a Russian delegation during talks with their Ukrainian counterparts in Istanbul last week.
The Kremlin said his presence would “enable certain contacts” while Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said Abramovich was “sincerely” working to end the war.
Ship-tracking website Marine Traffic showed the 140-metre (460-foot) yacht Solaris had anchored near Yalikavak, after travelling some 50 kilometres around the Bodrum peninsula.
Solaris is one of two superyachts linked to Abramovich, together worth an estimated $1.2 billion, which docked in southwest Turkey in recent weeks. Sources have said he and other wealthy Russians were looking to invest in Turkey, given sanctions elsewhere.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has said Russian oligarchs are welcome in Turkey but must abide by international law in order to do any business.
A member of the military alliance NATO, Turkey shares a maritime border with Ukraine and Russia in the Black Sea, has good ties with both and has offered to mediate. It has supported Kyiv, but also opposes sanctions on Moscow, including measures against Abramovich and other Russian billionaires.
Abramovich had sought to sell his English soccer club Chelsea, a process that was taken out of his hands by the British government when it blacklisted him.
(Reporting by Ali Kucukgocmen; Editing by Daren Butler, Dominic Evans and Bernadette Baum)