Netherlands seizes 14 yachts as Russia faces new sanctions for brutal war in Ukraine

The Hague — The Dutch customs authorities seized 14 yachts from the shipyards, 12 of which are still under construction, as part of ever-increasing western sanctions imposed on The Russian invasion of Ukraine, the government announced on Wednesday. European and American authorities have seized several yachts with ties to Russian tycoons under the unprecedented sanctions that followed the February 24 invasion.

“In view of the current measures, these ships cannot be delivered, transferred or exported at the moment,” Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra wrote in a letter to the Dutch parliament.

Sanctions against the yachts of the American oligarch in Spain
Spanish civil guards stand near the yacht “Tango” in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, April 4, 2022, as U.S. and Spanish federal agents search the ship owned by a Russian oligarch. It is one of many yachts seized by Western authorities due to sanctions against Russia over the war in Ukraine.

Francisco Ubilla/AP

The 12 yachts under construction, including luxury vessels over 38 meters in length, were being built at five different shipyards for “Russian beneficiaries”, the government said. The other two yachts are currently undergoing maintenance.

“These are not people who are on the European sanctions lists,” said the Dutch minister. The “ownership” of the yachts is under further investigation, however, including whether any of them were related to someone on the EU sanctions list, Hoekstra said.

“The government attaches great importance to the observance and enforcement of sanctions,” he added.

The Netherlands also froze €516m in assets and €155m in transactions, the minister said.

The United States was set to announce a new round of sanctions against Russia on Wednesday in response to reported atrocities in the Ukrainian capital of kyiv, sources familiar with the upcoming sanctions confirmed to CBS News this week.

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The additional sanctions were to be announced in coordination with the Group of 7 and the European Union, and were aimed at imposing “significant costs” on Russia for its brutality in Ukraine, the sources said. The measures will include a ban on all new investment in Russia, increased sanctions against financial institutions and state-owned companies, and sanctions against Russian government officials and their family members.

The measures are aimed at “degrading key instruments of Russian state power” and imposing rapid economic harm on Russia, the sources say.

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