A row has erupted in South Africa over the arrival of a luxury yacht belonging to the Russian minority government and an ally of President Vladimir Putin. The government has allowed the boat to dock in Cape Town’s port, but the city’s mayor wants to stop it.
The luxury yacht is called NorthBillionaire Alexei Mordashov on his way from Hong Kong to Cape Town. Mordashov is the richest man in Russia and the owner of the steel production company Severstal. It is on the EU and US sanctions list.
The South African government says it is not bound by these sanctions. But Cape Town Mayor Gordon Hill Lewis considers banning the yacht from its port a “moral duty” as a declaration against the “unjust war” in Ukraine.
Hill Lewis, a member of the opposition Democratic Alliance party, is urging the government to confiscate Mordashov’s 141-meter yacht. “The foreign policy of our country in connection with the illegal imperialist war of Russia is shameful.”
It is unclear how he wants to prevent the ship from docking in Cape Town. Hong Kong has previously refused to take action against the luxury yacht.
The government does not intend to respond to the mayor’s appeal. A spokesperson calls it “Confirmation” and warns that municipal authorities have no legal control over national borders, as they do at a port.
“South Africa has no legal obligation to comply with the sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union,” said a spokesman for President Cyril Ramaphosa. “South Africa’s sanctions obligations relate only to those sanctions specifically adopted by the United Nations.”
South Africa, like many other African countries, is reluctant to criticize Russia. At the United Nations, the country abstains from voting on resolutions condemning the war.
Before the war in Ukraine, the 57-year-old Mordashov was known as the richest man in Russia with a fortune of about 29 billion euros. While he denies not engaging in Russian politics, he has been a target of Western sanctions from the start.
Another yacht from Mordsov, which is lady m, captured in Italy in March. The north According to Business Journal Forbes One of the most luxurious boats in the world, including two helipads, a swimming pool and a cinema. Shortly after the start of the war, the yacht left the Seychelles for the port of Vladivostok in eastern Russia.
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