Putin’s luxury yacht passes below the Rendsburg bridge. Photo courtesy of Frank Behling/Kieler Nachrichten

The 82-metre superyacht Sleek, reported to belong to Russian President Vladimir Putin, has been pictured sailing toward Russia from a German shipyard. The surprising shift has prompted speculation the Russian leader is avoiding the €87m vessel becoming impounded by tough sanctions that could adhere to if Russia invades Ukraine.

German newspaper The Kieler Nachrichten experiences that the luxurious yacht had been at the Blohm+Voss shipyard in Hamburg for a refurbishment because 2021, but left German waters swiftly this 7 days, just before the perform could be finished. The yacht has now arrived at the Russian enclave Kaliningrad on the Baltic Coastline, in accordance to tracking website Marine Traffic.

The Bild newspaper claimed the go “was clearly an escape for fear of remaining arrested”. Amid increasing tensions as Russia deploys far more troops along the border with Ukraine, Nato states which include the US and Uk have threatened to introduce tough sanctions if Russia invades Kiev.

The superyacht, which reportedly has an indoor pool that can be remodeled into a dance floor as properly as a helipad, was scheduled to have two more forward balconies fitted during the modification operates in Hamburg, as very well as an extension to the swimming pool, according to Kieler Nachrichten.

Photographs released by German media clearly show spots of the yacht’s exterior are in a point out of semi-maintenance, with masking tape on windows. Kieler Nachrichten studies the functions will most very likely be completed in Kaliningrad.

Putin, a previous intelligence officer who has been in electrical power as possibly president or key minister in Russia considering the fact that 1999, has a described once-a-year income of all over 10 million rubles (£98,000).

He has an alleged fleet of at minimum three luxurious superyachts, despite the fact that he is not confirmed as the formal owner of any of them. In addition to the €87m Sleek, he is understood to have a presidential cabin aboard the 57-metre Olympia and also spends time on the 54-metre Chayka (Seagull), allegedly bought for the Russian Presidential Administration to host formal conferences.

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