Vladimir Putin’s €87 million superyacht abruptly leaves German port amid sanctions threat

Russian President Vladimir Putin steps ashore from a yacht in Sevastopol, Crimea, after plunging below the waves aboard a submersible craft into the Black Sea, in Sevastopol, Crimea, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015. Putin traveled aboard the small submersible craft down to the seabed of the Black Sea to view an ancient Byzantine trading ship recently discovered off the coast of Crimea.(Alexei Druzhinin/RIA-Novosti, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
By Dénes Albert
2 Min Read

Vladimir Putin’s largest yacht, Graceful, was spotted departing the Blohm and Voss shipyard in the port of Hamburg without finishing scheduled repairs on the vessel, prompting suggestions the Russian president was keen to relocate the vessel to avoid Western sanctions should Russia invade Ukraine.

Local news outlet Kieler Nachrichten reported that the 82-meter superyacht, valued at $100 million, had left the German port abruptly, and was now docked in Kaliningrad, an enclave situated between Poland and Lithuania that is part of Russian territory.

Reports have suggested that Western sanctions could include the impounding of Russian luxury assets across Europe, which may have prompted the vessel’s relocation by the Russian president.

Graceful had docked in Hamburg last year and was expected to undertake some restorative work. It was built by German shipbuilders Blohm and Voss, and launched back in 2014.

The superyacht can accommodate up to 26 guests and crew, and comes equipped with a 15-meter indoor swimming pool, a gym, a library and spa.

In addition to Graceful, Vladimir Putin has at least three other yachts: the $50 million, 57-meter Olympia, the $35 million, 54-meter Turkish-built Seagull and the smallest of the fleet, the 35-meter Petrel.

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