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Sanctioned Russian parliamentary oligarch sends his $156 million yacht to Dubai

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A sleek $156 million superyacht owned by a Russian oligarch and parliamentarian now sits in a port in Dubai, the latest sign that the kingdom has become a haven for Russian money and Russian warfare. in Ukraine.

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The 98-meter Madame Gu, complete with a helipad, gym, beach club and elevator, was docked at Dubai’s Rashid port on Thursday, testing the close relationship between the United States and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The spectacular blue-hulled vessel belongs to Andrei Skoch, one of the richest members of the Duma. Steel tycoon, his estate is valued at $6.6 billion, according to Forbes. Attempts to contact Skoch for comment were in vain.

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Like sanctioned Russian billionaire Andrey Melnichenko’s yacht A docked in the northern emirate of Ras al-Khaimah, Madame Gu’s presence in Dubai demonstrates how Russian oligarchs have parked their assets in the UAE.

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Western governments have stepped up their sanctions, and the United States is pressuring its ally in the Persian Gulf to adopt the same policy.

Skoch was first sanctioned by the US Treasury in 2018 for his role in the government and his alleged “long-standing relationships with Russian organized criminal groups, including running such an enterprise for some time.” Weeks ago, the Treasury prohibited US entities from doing business with Madame Gu and her helicopter. The European Union (EU) has also sanctioned Skoch.

The Cayman Islands-registered Madame Gu was flying an Emirati flag when Associated Press reporters went to look at it. It’s a display of wealth to rival Dubai’s famous cruise ship-turned-hotel Queen Elizabeth 2, docked alongside it. She was also standing next to the $200 million Dubai mega-yacht owned by the city-state’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Satellite photos from Planet Labs PBC show Madame Gu at her dock in Port Rashid as of March 25.

The UAE, which includes the luxury destination Dubai and Abu Dhabi with its oil wealth, has refused to take sides in Moscow’s war and has welcomed Russian money into its beachfront estates and luxury hotels. The UAE Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Faced with the invasion of Ukraine, Russia’s richest businessmen and politicians rushed to salvage their vast assets from what has become a growing drag. The oligarchs’ superyachts have loomed large in the Western crackdown, aimed at pressuring President Vladimir Putin to change course in Ukraine.

Source: Gestion

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