Ukraine seizes ownership of Royal Romance
The 93m yacht is poised to be sold by the Ukrainian government following a landmark decision from a Croatian court…
Image Credit: Kasa Fue
In a recent announcement by Olena Duma, the head of Ukraine’s Asset Recovery and Management Agency (ARMA), it has been revealed that the ownership status of seized Royal Romance will be transferred to the Ukrainian government. The decision is based on a request for international legal assistance from Croatian and Ukrainian authorities.
Duma further stated that “there are no legal obstacles to the implementation of this [transfer].” The 93m Feadship, originally delivered in 2015, underwent a temporary refloating last week (25 January), to assess its technical capacity, buoyancy and engine functionality.
Reportedly owned by Viktor Medvedchuk, a former Ukrainian lawyer and politician, Royal Romance faced arrest in Croatia back in 2022. Medvedchuk is purportedly known for his pro-Kremlin stance and close association with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
As per an ARMA statement at the time, officials inspected the yacht between 13 and 22 November, 2022, aiming to preserve its economic value by selling the yacht at auction. A search warrant, issued by the Croatian government at the behest of the US Justice Department, was also issued on November 15 days later.
The statement emphasised the unique nature of managing seized property within a foreign jurisdiction. It also highlighted the necessity of asset review and information collection and analysis for effective management measures.
Following its arrest in Rijeka, the reports suggesting that the superyacht might be auctioned now look to come to fruition. ARMA has secured approval for an additional appraisal of Royal Romance, paving the way for its sale, marking the “first example of the sale of seized assets located abroad” to be sold for the benefit of Ukraine.
Royal Romance currently remains in Croatian waters according to its AIS (at the time of writing).
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