© . FILE PHOTO: Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska attends a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in St. Petersburg, Russia, June 3, 2021. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina
ISTANBUL () – A yacht linked to Russian aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska arrived on Saturday in a bay near the southwestern Turkish resort of Gocek, as more Russian billionaires flock to Turkey to ease Western sanctions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to flee. Deripaska, founder of Russian aluminum giant Rusal, has been sanctioned by the United States, the European Union and Britain. Earlier he called for peace. A witness saw the 73m yacht Clio arrive off the coast of Gocek in the Aegean coastal province of Mugla on Saturday. The ship flying the flag of the Cayman Islands remains in a bay off the coast of Gocek. Clio’s arrival in Turkish waters comes after two superyachts linked to Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, who made a surprising appearance this month during Ukraine-Russia peace talks in Istanbul, docked in Turkish ports. World governments are trying to isolate President Vladimir Putin and his allies over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which the Kremlin calls a “special military operation.” NATO member Turkey shares a maritime border with Ukraine and Russia in the Black Sea, has good ties with both and is mediating in the conflict. It supported Kiev but also opposed sanctions against Moscow, including measures against Russian billionaires. Relying heavily on Russian energy imports and tourists, Ankara has become a safe haven for Russians fleeing sanctions, many of whom have invested in Turkish property. On Friday, a Ukrainian diplomat said Ukraine is working with Turkey for increased support and understands – though not happy with – the reality of Ankara’s parallel ties with Moscow.