Joe Biden sanctions Vladimir Putin yachts on 99th day of Ukraine war

Joe Biden sanctions Vladimir Putin yachts on 99th day of Ukraine war

President Biden unveiled new sanctions Thursday targeting influential Russians and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s yachts on the 99th day of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine — but not two oligarchs connected to first son Hunter Biden.

The slow rollout of sanctions comes despite the president threatening “swift and severe” action ahead of the invasion, which was launched Feb. 24.

New US-targeted individuals include the oligarch Alexey Mordashov, Putin-linked money manager Sergei Roldugin, billionaire God Nisanov, businessman Evgeny Novitskiy, banker Sergey Gorkov and Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.

The Treasury Department said it had also sanctioned Monaco-based yacht brokerage Imperial Yachts and its Russian CEO, Evgeniy Kochman, and two yachts as properties that Putin has “an interest” in — the Russia-flagged Graceful and Cayman Islands-flagged Olympia.

Russian president Vladimir Putin faces personal sanctions as well.
Russian President Vladimir Putin faces personal sanctions as well.
Mikhail Metzel, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP
The Treasury Department said it had also sanctioned two yachts as properties that Putin has "an interest" in.
The Treasury Department said it had also sanctioned two yachts as properties that Putin has “an interest” in.
CharterWorld
Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) and billionaire God Nisanov (left) during a visit to 'Moskvarium'
Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) and billionaire God Nisanov during a visit to “Moskvarium.”
Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images

“Putin has taken numerous trips on these yachts, including a 2021 trip in the Black Sea where he was joined by Alyaksandr Lukashenka, the OFAC-designated corrupt ruler of Belarus, who has supported Russia’s war against Ukraine,” the department added.

The US released photos of the Russian leader’s pleasure boats, but did not specify their current whereabouts.

Washington has “also targeted two additional yachts linked to Putin, Shellest and Nega, which are owned by the Russian company Non-Profit Partnership Revival of Maritime Traditions,” the Treasury Department said.

US economic sanctions can have a global bite and result in foreign companies being unable to easily transact business or retrieve their assets.

Money manager Roldugin was described by the Treasury Department as Putin’s financial “middle-man” and a “close friend and part of a system that manages President Putin’s offshore wealth.”

The new sanctions target Russian oligarch Alexey Miller, and several other high profile Russians.
The new sanctions target Russian oligarch Alexey Miller, and several other high-profile Russians.
Dmitry Dukhanin/Kommersant/Polaris
Alexey Mordashov, billionaire and chairman of Severstal PAO, gestures as he speaks during an interview.
Alexey Mordashov, billionaire and chairman of Severstal PAO, speaks during an interview.
Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images
  Russian cellist and businessman Sergei Roldugin attends the concert marking the 80th anniversary of Soviet and Russian conductor Yuri Temirkanov.
Russian cellist and businessman Sergei Roldugin attends the concert marking the 80th anniversary of Soviet and Russian conductor Yuri Temirkanov.
Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

“The two have known each other for over four decades, and Roldugin is the godfather to one of Putin’s daughters,” the department said in a statement.

It’s unclear why Hunter Biden’s Russian business associates — including the oligarchs Yelena Baturina and Vladimir Yevtushenko — have been spared from sanctions leveled against many other members of Russia’s business elite.

Baturina in 2014 paid a firm associated with Hunter Biden $3.5 million, according to a 2020 report written by Republican-led Senate committees. She is the widow of former Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov, and documents from Hunter Biden’s laptop indicate she may have attended a 2015 dinner in DC with then-Vice President Joe Biden.

Yelena Baturina, widow of former mayor of Moscow Yuri Luzhkov, attends a memorial service before his funeral.
Yelena Baturina, widow of former mayor of Moscow Yuri Luzhkov, attends a memorial service before his funeral.
REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

Yevtushenkov, meanwhile, faces UK sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but hasn’t yet been targeted by the US. He reportedly dined with Hunter Biden in 2012 at Moscow’s Ritz-Carlton hotel.

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