Multiple reports over the last few weeks have indicated that Russia’s richest oligarchs and billionaires have been steadily feeling the brutal effects of the West’s aggressive sanctions as part of the world’s attempts to stop Vladimir Putin’s cashflow and bring an end to the devastating war in Ukraine — meaning many high-profile Russians are seeing their own personal assets taking the hardest hits.
Numerous billionaires and oligarchs have seen their personal assets, such as massive superyachts and private jet planes, seized in connection to the sanctions against Russia, despite some of their efforts to avoid them, such as ordering that their boat be quickly sailed to Turkey, and another massive vessel that’s conveniently and rather mysteriously “vanished” all of the sudden.
But it seems their woes may not end with the seizure of their assets alone.
According to a new analysis report from Business Insider, it’s highly likely that many of these superyachts will quickly fall into a state of severe disrepair following the seizures, as authorities work to determine how to dispose of these assets, and the massive vessels do not get the high-maintenance upkeep they need.
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Insider’s Grace Kay and Sam Tabahriti personally spoke with experts in the boating world who were quick to confirm that the upkeep of these massive vessels is no small task, but rather a labor-intensive, round-the-clock operation, and the boats won’t survive much time at all without steady regular maintenance before they begin to fall apart.
“Dozens of superyachts seized from Russian oligarchs and collectively worth billions of dollars could quickly waste away in a matter of weeks if they’re not properly cared for — a process that requires millions of dollars,” the Insider report reads, going on to add, “Insider spoke with four experts who described how the sanctions against Russia — which they say are more extensive than any other coordinated global round of sanctions in history — could lead to lengthy court battles and the deprecation of the world’s most expensive superyachts.”
One partner at Keystone Law in the UK and an expert in yacht and luxury asset law, Benjamin Maltby, told the publication, “Yachts will start to deteriorate as soon as the maintenance program is relaxed. Cleaning surfaces, and checking equipment operation is continual.”
Insider goes on to write, “… while the Russian oligarchs are still technically responsible for paying for yacht maintenance, it is likely they will either refuse to pay or European authorities will encounter difficulty collecting the funds due to sanctions on financial transactions with the billionaires.”
“Without proper care, vessels can lose about 30% of their value, according to [president of Marine Boat Works in California] Todd Roberts. What’s more, if a superyacht were to go without its crew — which typically includes a staff of 25 or more — the vessel could quickly fail official inspections and ultimately lose its insurance due to concerns related to functionality and environmental risk.”
According to Maltby “…he expects most crews to walk away from the seized vessels because their pay will likely be comprised, leaving European authorities in the lurch when it comes to deciding what to do with the assets. Last week, the crew of Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov’s 512-foot superyacht was fired after sanctions prevented the staff from receiving their wages.”
Roberts concurred, adding, “This is almost completely uncharted territory. I don’t think any of us fully understand what it will mean for the industry.”
They’re going to lose it all, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.
Read the full analysis report from Business Insider right here.
Featured image via Piqsels Public Domain