Italy Seizing Russian Oligarchs’ Yachts and Villas

Italian authorities have seized villas and yachts worth at least 140 million euros ($153 million) from four Russian oligarchs that were seen as close to Russian President Vladimir Putin and are subject to EU sanctions.

A villa owned by billionaire Alisher Usmanov on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia and another owned by state TV host Vladimir Soloviev on Lake Como have been seized, according to the Italian police.

Yachts belonging to Russia’s richest man, Alexey Mordashov, and Gennady Timchenko were also impounded overnight. Both businessmen were among a list of influential Russians blacklisted by the EU for their close ties with Putin.

“Italy’s police has just seized ‘Lady M Yacht’, a 65 million euros ($70 million) vessel belonging to Alexey Alexandrovits Mordaschov located in Imperia (Liguria) — in compliance with the recent EU sanctions,” Ferdinando Giugliano, a media adviser to Italy’s prime minister, said in a tweet.

Timchenko’s boat Lena was worth around 50 million euros ($55 million), according to police sources.

Italy houses several villas and properties owned by Russian oligarchs. More assets are expected to be seized in the following weeks as part of the West’s efforts to pressure Russia into stopping its attack on Ukraine.

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