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France seizes luxury yacht from sanctioned Russian oligarchs

Paris (CNN Business) – France confiscated a yacht owned by oligarchs The French Ministry of Finance, Igor Sechin, said in a statement Thursday.

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

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

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

“Thanks to the French customs officials who are applying EU sanctions to those 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 its relations with Putin are “long and deep,” and the two men are in daily contact.

Earlier this week, Le Maire announced that France had formed 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 was dropping its 19.75% stake in Rosneft and giving up two seats on the company’s board.

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