A superyacht belonging to an associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin will soon be transferred to the custody of the Ukrainian government and auctioned off, according to Ukraine’s Asset Recovery and Management Agency (ARMA).
The yacht Royal Romance was seized by officials in the Croatian port of Rijeka in connection with EU sanctions in March 2022. The 300-foot vessel is owned by Ukrainian businessman Viktor Medvedchuk, a pro-Kremlin political leader and personal friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Medvedchuk is subject to U.S. and EU sanctions on Russian-linked oligarchs.
In November, a Croatian court issued a search warrant allowing the FBI and local police forces to board and investigate the vessel. After the search, the district court in Split, Croatia decided to transfer her ownership to Ukraine for auction, according to ARMA. The Ukrainian agency has been in talks with representatives of the port, local law enforcement and Croatia’s justice ministry on the details of the transfer, and its representatives recently made a journey out to the port to inspect the yacht’s condition. Read on.