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Russian oligarch calls for EU to return the $460 million superyacht that was once involved in one of the largest divorce settlements in UK history

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The luxury yacht "Luna" at Blohm+Voss Dock 10 on the Elbe River in the Port of Hamburg
The luxury yacht "Luna" at Blohm+Voss Dock 10 on the Elbe River in the Port of HamburgJonas Walzberg/picture alliance via Getty Images
  • Billionaire Farkhad Akhmedov appealed to the EU in an attempt to get his sanctioned yacht back.

  • The $460 million yacht is frozen in Germany, but was previously the center of a divorce battle.

  • Tatiana Akhmedov had the vessel frozen for two years after the oligarch refused to pay $484 million.

Russian oligarch Farkhad Akhmedov called for the European Union to drop sanctions against him and return his superyacht on Friday, according to a report from The Times.

The EU sanctioned the former Russian politician in April as Russia continued its invasion into Ukraine. At the time, the EU said that the oligarch was "close to the Kremlin" and "a leading businessperson involved in economic sectors providing a substantial source of revenue to the government of the Russian Federation."

On Friday, Akhmedov, who acquired much of his wealth through the gas industry, said he has severed ties to the energy industry and denied any relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, The Times reported.

The Council for the EU did not respond to a request for comment from Insider. Insider was unable to find contact information for Akhmedov.

Last month, the billionaire's 377-foot superyacht, Luna, was frozen in a German port, according to local media outlet Süddeutsche Zeitung. The vessel, which Akhmedov purchased for about $256 million in 2014, is now valued at about $460 million, per Reuters.

It was not the first time that Akhmedov has had to fight for access to his luxury yacht. The vessel — which has 81 TVs, one of the largest swimming pools on a yacht, and a mini-submarine — was once in the middle of one of the largest divorce settlements in the UK.

In 2017, a judge ruled that Akhmedov must pay about 40% of his wealth, or around $484 million, after his wife, Tatiana Akhmedov, filed for divorce. Akhmedov has a net worth of about $1.7 billion, according to Forbes.

At the time, the billionaire refused to pay the divorce settlement, leading to a five-year legal battle. Tatiana Akhmedov ordered a team of specialists to seize her former husband's assets — including his superyacht, according to The Times. As a result, the Luna yacht was moored in Dubai for over two years.

In July, the battle came to an end when the couple settled on a payout of about $106 million and about $53 million worth of art — over $75 million of which Tatiana Akhmedov used to pay off the asset hunt, according to Reuters.

The superyacht originally belonged to Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich and was sold to Akhmedov in 2014 for about $256 million, according to Superyacht Fan. Abramovich is also facing sanctions from several Western countries.

Akhmedov's yacht is not the only vessel to be seized in the port of Hamburg in connection with the Ukraine war. In April, Germany impounded the world's largest yacht, a $735 million vessel that was tied to sanctioned Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov. The billionaire has also filed an appeal, according to The Times.

Read the original article on Business Insider