A Russian oligarch’s yacht caused…

The luxury yacht owned by sanctioned Russian oligarch Alexei Mordashov sailed out of Hong Kong harbor unmolested after authorities there refused to take action to confiscate it.

In the past few weeks, the 141-meter vessel Nord has drawn sharp criticism from the US State Department, which questioned the “transparency” of the financial hub.

While a number of Russian superyachts have been confiscated or denied entry to Europe, the Nord has been largely undisturbed in Hong Kong. She ended up there after a 7-day voyage from Vladivostok in the Russian Far East, down through the Sea of ​​Japan and the East China Sea. On Thursday, the special administrative region said the yacht had left its territory and did not comment further on the matter.

The vessel is owned by Russian billionaire Alexei Morshadov, who is also close to President Vladimir Putin. He was among a number of Russian nationals who were sanctioned by the US and the EU as a result of the invasion of Ukraine. Before the UN, however, his name is completely clean.

Therefore, earlier in October, the head of Hong Kong, John Lee, said that the city’s authorities would not act on the unilateral sanctions imposed on Mordashov by individual jurisdictions.

“We can’t do anything for which there is no legal basis,” he explained, stressing that the Chinese-ruled city will only abide by the sanctions imposed by the United Nations.

Put bluntly, China refused to comply.

His actions did not sit well with Washington, which warned that Hong Kong’s status as a financial hub could be threatened if it provided aid to sanctioned individuals.

The Nord yacht was spotted in Chinese waters on October 5, after which the 142-meter Russian-flagged ship docked in Hong Kong, having arrived there after a week-long voyage from Vladivostok. The price of the yacht of the billionaire from Cherepovets is 521 million dollars (about 31 billion rubles).

EU leaders consider future of ties with China

European Union leaders today considered the future of their increasingly strained relationship with China in anticipation of President Xi Jinping’s re-election as leader at this week’s Communist Party congress.

During more than three hours of talks in Brussels, the 27 leaders of the world’s largest trading bloc discussed ways to reduce their dependence on China for technological equipment and raw materials used to make items such as microchips, batteries and solar panels.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen noted that the EU is “witnessing a fairly large acceleration of some trends and tensions” with China. She said the week-long Communist Party Congress showed that Xi will continue to strengthen “very assertive” and “self-styled” Chinese policies.

“It is clear that China continues its mission to assert its dominance in East Asia and its influence globally,” von der Leyen said. “The Chinese system is fundamentally different from ours and we are aware of the nature of the rivalry.”


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