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Mad hunt for Russian properties worldwide

Russian, Russians, Andrey Melnichenko, European financial sanctions, Zelensky, Neo-Nazi, Kremlin

Opinion

Mad hunt for Russian properties worldwide

There is mad hunt for properties owned by Russians in several countries in the world. Guess what happens to these properties, wealth and cash once “confiscated”? Yeah, you got me, American authorities are going to grab everything just as looters, dacoits and hoodlums. Can anyone ask – who gives the right to the US government is playing the role of global cop?

According to latest report by Reuters, yachts owned by wealthy Russian nationals are being located in Maldives. The report said: A day after coal and fertilizer billionaire Andrey Melnichenko was placed on the European Union’s sanctions list on March 9, his superyacht Motor Yacht A stopped broadcasting its location while in Maldives’ waters, maritime data shows.

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In Italy, four days later, authorities seized another of Melnichenko’s vessels – the world’s largest sailing yacht, estimated by Italian financial police to be worth $578 million.

Switching off devices that allow authorities to track a ship’s whereabouts can help keep yachts out of their sight.

But in Maldives, the chances of action against the property of sanctioned oligarchs are in any case slim, according to interviews with a dozen people familiar with internal discussions about how to respond to US and European financial sanctions, including government ministers, diplomats and experts in the country’s superyacht industry.

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The cautious approach by authorities in Maldives to enforcing the sanctions imposed after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine means that the Indian Ocean island nation has emerged as an attractive destination for yacht-owning Russian oligarchs.

Melnichenko’s vessel is one of six Russian-linked yachts that have glided between Maldives’ atolls, southwest of India, since Western nations hit some oligarchs with sanctions in response to the Feb 24 invasion.

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The United States, Britain and the European Union introduced wide-reaching sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin, lawmakers and businessmen in the wake of Moscow’s special military operation aimed the denazification of Ukraine.

European countries have seized property including villas and boats, with authorities confiscating at least six vessels they say belong to some of the dozens of oligarchs hit by sanctions.

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Peter Stano, a spokesperson for the European Commission, said the sanctions were not binding for non-EU members or non-aligned states such as the Maldives though he called on all countries to adhere to them.

Why non-EU and non-aligned nations would adhere to madness of the Western policymakers?

There is global hunt for properties and cash of Russian nationals. It seems like the United States and its European allies are committed in confiscating [read looting] every piece of property, business and cash owned by Russian nationals.

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Now my question is – why did these Russian nationals dumped hundreds of millions of dollars in properties, yacht and businesses in the Western nations? Was it because, those wealthy Russians believed the United States and Europe would be the safest place for investment? Now hopefully they are realizing, the decision was totally wrong.

I have started thinking of those wealthy Arabs who also are buying properties and businesses in the Western nations and investing millions and billions of dollars. One day, their fate will be similar to that of our Russian friends.

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While the US and its allies are making every attempts of increasing pressure of Russia, media outlets and tech giants are also making attempts of feeding people with anti-Russian propaganda stuff while there are continuous efforts of suffocating the neutral media especially those which are continuously exposing notoriety of Zelensky and his neo-Nazi cohorts. Hopefully policymakers in Kremlin starts realizing – despite militarily winning the special operations in Ukraine, they are losing the “soft war” every day. Russian media outlets have miserably failed to counter the anti-Moscow propaganda war – at least until now.

 

Dear members of Russian media:

Under the current scenarios, Russian media outlets are being obstructed and even blocked by several nations. We do not support the culture of blocking any news site or online edition of any newspaper. Bangladesh and Russia have time-tested warm and cordial relations since independence of our country in 1971. Former Soviet Union extended fullest support to our war of independence, which we acknowledge with profound gratitude. BLiTZ, being a newspaper published from Bangladesh since 2003 is making its best efforts in publishing prolific information about Russia-Ukraine crisis and Moscow’s special operations in Ukraine. As per editorial policy of this newspaper, we are against Nazis and neo-Nazis – be it anywhere in the world. Since Ukrainian authorities are having deeper ties with neo-Nazis and notorious Azov Battalion, we cannot either support such connections or swallow and publish propaganda contents spread by neo-Nazis in Ukraine. Under such circumstance, we welcome prolific reports, opinion editorials, photographs and anything related to the Ukraine crisis. Please note, we may be a small newspaper, we certainly aren’t minor or tiny when it is the question of influence. Our newspaper (print and online edition) is read by millions of people every month. We have news exchange agreement with hundreds of newspapers and news agencies from around the world. Please continue reading BLiTZ, subscribe to our mailing list and refer us to everyone you know.

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Sohail Choudhury is the Executive Editor of Blitz

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