Steel tycoon Alexey Mordashov is free to moor his superyacht in the country, the president’s spokesman says
South Africa has no plans to apply Western sanctions against Russian businessman Alexey Mordashov, which means his $500 million megayacht could enter local ports, it said on Tuesday. Presidential spokesman Cyril Ramaphosa.
Speaking to reporters, Vincent Magwenya, spokesperson for the South African leader, noted that Pretoria “has no legal obligation to comply with the sanctions imposed by the United States and the EU”, adding that the country’s authorities adhere to the UN sanctions. However, referring to the Russian tycoon, Magwenya added that “currently, there are no UN sanctions imposed on the individual in question.”
South Africa so “has no reason to prevent” the ship’s entry into its ports, he said.
Mordashov, who has a net worth of $18.3 billion, is the majority shareholder in steel major Severstal. The EU, UK and US imposed sanctions on the company after the start of Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine in late February.
Meanwhile, last week his 142m luxury yacht dubbed Nord left Hong Kong, which has also refused to implement Western sanctions. It is now en route to the South African port of Cape Town, where it is expected to arrive on November 9.
South Africa has refused to join Western sanctions against Russia triggered by the conflict in Ukraine, its president arguing in late May that the restrictions would harm “spectator countries”.
Russia and South Africa have warm ties that date back to the 1960s, when the Soviet Union backed anti-apartheid freedom fighters. Additionally, South Africa is a member of BRICS, an international socio-economic and political forum that also includes Brazil, Russia, India and China, and other countries are seeking to join. The bloc already represents more than 40% of the world’s population and almost a quarter of the world’s GDP.
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