France seizes more Russian property including €100m Abramovich mansion

The French government has published a list of property confiscated from sanctioned Russian oligarchs, including yachts, helicopters and a €100m Riviera mansion belonging to Roman Abramovich.

France seizes more Russian property including €100m Abramovich mansion
The Cap d'Antibes, southern France, is the location of Abramovich's villa. Photo by PHOTO PATRICE COPPEE / AFP

The property belonging to Russian oligarchs on the EU sanctions list has been confiscated or frozen. Portable property such as yachts and helicopters has been seized, while property has been frozen so that the owners cannot rent or sell it.

In total 33 properties – mostly on the Riviera or in Paris – have been frozen, while four yachts and six helicopters have been confidcated.

Among the properties listed is the Château de Croë, on the Cap d’Antibes, which is owned by Roman Abramovich, who also owned Chelsea football club in the UK. Its estimated value is €100m.

The list of property addresses is a guide to some of the most expensive towns on the French Riviera – Saint-Tropez, Antibes, Cannes, Le Lavandou, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Méribel. High-value properties in the central arrondissements of Paris are also on the list, along with property in the French Caribbean island of Saint Barthélemy.

Abramovich’s Saint Barthélemy mansion, Villa Gouverneur, was also on the list.  

The French finance ministry has formed a task force made up of financial experts, tax inspectors and customs officials to identify and confiscate property owned by Russians on the EU sanction list.

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France ‘strongly condemns’ Russia’s expulsion of its diplomats

France "strongly condemns" the expulsion of 34 of its diplomats by Russia, the foreign ministry said Wednesday, a tit-for-tat move by Moscow after Paris ordered some Russian staff to leave.

France 'strongly condemns' Russia's expulsion of its diplomats

Saying the step had “no legitimate basis”, the ministry said in a statementthat “the work of the diplomats and staff at (France’s) embassy in Russia… takes place fully within the framework of the Vienna Convention on diplomatic and consular relations” — whereas Paris expelled the Russian staff in April on suspicion of being spies.

Moscow said Wednesday it was expelling 34 “employees of French diplomatic missions” in a tit-for-tat move following the
expulsion of Russian diplomats from France as part of joint European action over Russia’s campaign in Ukraine.

“Thirty four employees of French diplomatic missions in Russia have been declared persona non grata,” Russia’s foreign ministry said in a statement, adding that they have two weeks to leave the country.

Moscow made the announcement after summoning France’s ambassador to Russia, Pierre Levy, and telling him that the expulsion of 41 employees of Russian diplomatic missions was a “provocative and unfounded decision”, the statement

“It has been stressed that this step causes serious damage to Russian-French relations and constructive bilateral cooperation,” the foreign ministry said.

French President Emmanuel Macron initially led diplomatic outreach to the Kremlin over Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine but his talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin have eventually tapered off and overt French military
support to Ukraine has increased in recent months.