Russian Oligarch Alisher Usmanov, who has been sanctioned by a string of western nations, no longer owns many of his former properties his spokesperson has said, potentially meaning they will avoid such penalties.
The Uzbek-born Russian business magnate has been sanctioned by The European Union, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Switzerland due to his close ties with the Kremlin.
The move came in response to Russia invading Ukraine on Feb. 24 in what Russian President Vladimir Putin has called a "special military operation."
"From that point on, Mr. Usmanov did not own them, nor was he able to manage them or deal with their sale, but could only use them on a rental basis," the spokesperson said. "Mr. Usmanov withdrew from the beneficiaries of the trusts, donating his beneficial rights to his family."
The Epoch Times has contacted a spokesperson for Usmanov for comment.
Despite this, the UK government maintains that the sanctions against Usmanov will still be effective, citing its coordination with other Western nations in targeting those with close ties to Putin.
"And, crucially, when it comes to sanctions, we are wherever possible moving as one with our Western allies, so those that may be seeking to move assets will find they're not welcome in the vast majority of the Western world."
Responding to critics of the government who say it was too slow to sanction Russian individuals linked to Putin, the spokesman said that the UK is "a country that respects the rule of law," and "we make sure that we have done all the requisite steps in order to make these legally enforceable."
He is the sixth-richest Russian, with a fortune of $19.5 billion according to Bloomberg’s wealth index, and also has stakes in JD.com and Uber Technologies and controls Kommersant, a Russian newspaper.
That yacht, the Dilbar, was seized by authorities in Germany earlier this month where it had been undergoing refitting since late October, according to multiple reports.
"According to FinCEN files he paid $6 million to Vladimir Putin’s influential adviser Valentin Yumashev. Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy chairman of the Security Council of Russia and former president and prime minister of Russia, benefited from the personal use of luxurious residences controlled by Mr. Usmanov," officials said.
"The reasons employed to justify the sanctions are a set of false and defamatory allegations damaging my honor, dignity, and business reputation. I will use all legal means to protect my honor and reputation," he said.