Stjepan Curaj: 6 Suspicious Yachts Tied to Russians in Croatian Ports

Lauren Simmonds

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As Morski writes, State Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, Stjepan Curaj, spoke recently about sanctions put in place against Russians close to Vladimir Putin’s regime on RTL. He said that out of a total of 950 oligarchs on the list under current European Union (EU) sanctions, 680 of them were detected on February the 23rd, 2022, as those with direct or indirect ties to the Republic of Croatia.

Stjepan Curaj claimed that it is difficult to talk about the estimated value of their assets and property, and when it comes to movables, he says that six potentially suspicious yachts have been detected moored in Croatian waters and that the procedure surrounding all of that information is ongoing.

He also spoke about the case of a yacht in Betina on the island of Murter, and Stjepan Curaj said that he doesn’t know specifically whether it is owned by someone on the infamous list, but in addition to Murter, he says, there are other ports in which this is an issue. He explained the procedure and stated that when it is determined that it is owned or under the control of a person placed on the Russian sanction list, then it is frozen and the Harbor Master’s Office prohibits its release and departure. He assumes that this will be the case in Betina as well.

He also mentioned the yacht in Rijeka, which is well-known in the media and which we recently wrote about, and confirmed that it has indeed been frozen.

When asked about sound names involved, he said that Abramovich is the most famous of them all, and when asked if tycoon Vekselberg, who operates down in Dubrovnik and whose property and assets are currently blocked by the USA, is on the list, he claimd that he is on the American list.

As for the consequences for the businesses owned and carried out by these people, and thus for their employees, the Secretary of State says that there is a procedure and clear guidelines. “We need to clearly separate the company from the owner, in that the owner can’t use their company economically and have any financial benefits from it, but we also need to allow it to work because that’s our goal,” he explained.

Finally, he answered the question surrounding confiscated property and the idea coming from Britain to put that property into the function of receiving and caring for Ukrainian refugees. Stjepan Curaj said that sanctions against Russia are prescribed by the 2014 provision and it determines that all property be frozen and be made unable to be used for anything else. If we were to decide to adopt Britain’s idea and use it in another way, he says the provision should be changed.

For more, check out our politics section.


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