Ukraine Negotiates Sale of Seized $200M Yacht to Fund Defense

Ukraine's Asset Recovery and Management Agency (ARMA) is negotiating with US-based Boathouse Auctions to sell the 92.5-meter superyacht Royal Romance, previously owned by Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Medvedchuk with alleged ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, with proceeds expected to generate $200 million to strengthen Ukraine's defense capabilities against Russia. The yacht, currently located in Croatia, features luxurious amenities and is a significant asset seizure in Ukraine's efforts to recover assets linked to Russian interests." This description focuses on the primary topic of the article (the sale of the Royal Romance yacht), the main entities involved (ARMA, Boathouse Auctions, Viktor Medvedchuk, and Vladimir Putin), the context of the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia, and the significant consequences of the sale (strengthening Ukraine's defense capabilities). The description also includes objective and relevant details about the yacht's features and location, which will help guide the AI in creating an accurate visual representation of the article's content.

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Nitish Verma
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Ukraine Negotiates Sale of Seized $200M Yacht to Fund Defense

Ukraine Negotiates Sale of Seized $200M Yacht to Fund Defense

Ukraine's Asset Recovery and Management Agency (ARMA) is currently negotiating with US-based Boathouse Auctions to sell the seized 92.5-meter superyacht Royal Romance, previously owned by Viktor Medvedchuk, a Ukrainian lawyer, business oligarch, and politician with alleged ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The yacht, valued at over $200 million, was arrested in Croatia in 2022 and transferred to Ukraine's ownership in January 2024.

Why this matters: This sale represents a significant step in Ukraine's efforts to recover assets linked to individuals associated with Russian interests, and utilizing them to bolster the country's defense capabilities in the ongoing conflict with Russia. The successful sale of the yacht could set a precedent for future asset seizures and sales, potentially disrupting Russia's influence in the region.

The sale proceeds will be used to strengthen Ukraine's defense capabilities against Russia. Olena Duma, Head of the National Agency, stated: "We are currently discussing in detail all legal issues and legal safeguards for the auction. This is the first time that Ukraine has faced the issue of selling a seized asset of this scale abroad. The yacht must be sold, and the proceeds from its sale must strengthen Ukraine's defense capability against the enemy."

Boathouse Auctions is the second-place participant in the Competitive Selection process, after Netherlands-based Troostwijk Auctions withdrew from the negotiations due to confidential reasons. The Royal Romance features exterior design and naval architecture by De Voogt Naval Architects, with interior design by Seymour Diamond. It can accommodate up to 14 guests across seven staterooms, with amenities including a large swimming pool, cinema, gym, sauna, and spa area.

The yacht is currently located at the berth of the Adria Docks shipyard in Trogir, Croatia. Medvedchuk owns the vessel through Fregata Marine Ltd, a company registered in the Marshall Islands and associated with his wife Oksana Marchenko. The sale is expected to generate $200 million in proceeds, which will be used to support Ukraine's defense capability.

This development comes as Ukraine begins the process of transferring seized assets, including the former residence of President Viktor Yanukovych, to state management. The sale of the Royal Romance yacht marks a significant step in Ukraine's efforts to recover assets linked to individuals associated with Russian interests and utilize them to bolster the country's defense capabilities in the ongoing conflict with Russia.

Key Takeaways

  • Ukraine's ARMA negotiates with Boathouse Auctions to sell seized 92.5m superyacht Royal Romance.
  • Yacht valued at over $200m, previously owned by Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Medvedchuk with alleged Putin ties.
  • Sale proceeds to strengthen Ukraine's defense capabilities against Russia.
  • Yacht features 7 staterooms, pool, cinema, gym, sauna, and spa area, accommodating up to 14 guests.
  • Sale expected to generate $200m, marking a significant step in Ukraine's asset recovery efforts.