Two megayachts belonging to Russian businessman Roman Abramovich are fleeing Western Europe for Turkey in the face of sanctions, according to media reports. The billionaire apparently believes the yachts will be safe in Turkey, even though the country is a NATO member. One of the yachts has already arrived, while a second is nearing Turkish territory.
According to Bloomberg, the 458-foot superyacht Solaris, which departed Barcelona on March 8, has been located just south of the resort area of Bodrum, situated in southwestern Turkey. Another Abramovich-owned superyacht, the Eclipse, is being tracked to just south of Karpathos, Greece, not far from Turkey.
Abramovich has been hit by sanctions imposed by both the EU and the UK over the past two weeks, part of a wave of sanctions that has targeted wealthy Russian oligarchs.
Turkey hasn't joined its NATO allies in imposing sanctions on Russian individuals. It continues to allow travel, making it one of the nearest international destinations for Russian jets and yachts hoping to avoid seizure.
Abramovich's name has been in the news lately as he seeks a buyer for Chelsea Football Club, the UK ootball club he has owned for nearly 20 years. Bids from prospective buyers were supposedly due on Friday. His wealth is derived from being the largest shareholder of Evraz, Russia's second-largest steelmaker. He also owns a stake in Russian metal producer Norilsk Nickel.
Abramovich is Russia's eighth-richest person with an estimated net worth of nearly $14 billion.