russian billionare yacht

The Russian billionaire is a close ally of Vladimir Putin – Photo: Supplied

Russian billionaire’s yacht arrives in SA today – what happens now?

Alexey Mordashov is just hours away from arriving in Cape Town, it is reported – so what can the Russian billionaire expect?

russian billionare yacht

The Russian billionaire is a close ally of Vladimir Putin – Photo: Supplied

A notorious super-yacht belonging to a close ally of Vladimir Putin is expected to arrive in Cape Town later on Wednesday. Alexey Mordashov is one of the wealthiest men in Russia. But he is now desperately searching for a place to drop anchor.

Russian billionaire’s yacht set to reach Cape Town today

The Nord Yacht is a vessel worth something in the region of R10 billion. It comes with multiple stories, its own helipad, and more luxuries than you can shake a stick at. Mordashov, who made his money as a Putin-aligned oligarch in Moscow, has been heavily sanctioned by the US and the EU.

Therefore, finding a place to dock his yacht has proved troublesome in recent times. Last month, the South African Government gave Mordashov the green-light to arrive in Cape Town. That’s causing friction both domestically and internationally.

russian billionaire yacht
The Nord Yacht is charting a course for Cape Town. – Photo: Supplied

Will there be a ship arrest?

The Mother City AND the Western Cape are both run by the DA. The administrative regions are vehemently opposed to the docking. In fact, one shadow minister has suggested placing the vessel ‘under ship arrest’ the second it shores-up in Cape Town.

“The South African government’s scandalous decision to allow the superyacht of the Russian oligarch Alexey Mordashov to dock in South Africa is an international embarrassment. They are on the wrong side of international law. This ship must be arrested once it enters South African waters.” | Darren Bergman

Other Russian billionaires may look to Cape Town for refuge

Although a ship arrest is highly unlikely to take place, Mordashov’s expected arrival will cause some complications. With a world increasingly ostracising Russia following the invasion of Ukraine, South Africa is in danger of making itself a ‘safe-haven’ for sanctioned oligarchs.

Mordashov could be the first of many Russian billionaires who flock towards Cape Town, safe in the knowledge that it will welcome friends of Vladimir Putin. The DA, meanwhile, is expected to continue its vehement opposition to this approach.