Melnichenko's super yacht, considered the world's biggest sailing yacht. Editorial credit: Sofya Dushkina /

Italy seizes world’s biggest sailing yacht from Russian oligarch

Business News

Italy’s finance police seized the yacht of Russian oligarch Andrey Melnichenko, ‘SY A’, in the port of Trieste. The world’s biggest sailing yacht, it is valued at €530million.

Italy’s finance police seized a super-yacht from Russian billionaire Andrey Melnichenko in the northern port of Trieste, the prime minister’s office announced.

The 143-metre vessel has a value of €530 million and is as high an eight-storey building. She has 8 decks and features a 1 ft thick glass underwater observation area located in the keel. Experts think her the world’s biggest sailing yacht.

The seizure is part of sanctions against Russian tycoons on the EU ‘black list’.

Seventh richest man in Russia

In 2021, Forbes estimated Melnichenko’s net worth at $19.8 billion, making the 50-year-old tycoon the seventh richest man in Russia.

He is the founder and ex-beneficiary of fertilizer producer EuroChem Group and coal company SUEK. He was a non-executive director in both companies until 9 March 2022.

The EU placed Melnichenko on the sanctions list on the 9 March 2022. It was on the basis of being “one of the leading businesspersons involved in economic sectors providing a substantial source of revenue to the Government of the Russia.

Melnichenko attended a February 2022 meeting between Putin and oligarchs on the eve of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. According to the New York Times, Melnichenko is “close to Mr. Putin.”

In response, Melnichenko said he “had no relation to the tragic events in Ukraine” and “had no political affiliations.” He stated “to draw a parallel between attending a meeting through membership in a business council, just as dozens of businesspeople from both Russia and Europe have done in the past, and undermining or threatening a country is absurd and nonsensical.”

Last week, Italian police seized yachts and villas worth more than €140 million from five Russian oligarchs.

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