Russian billionaire’s superyacht sanctioned by OFAC


The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has added superyacht Nirvana to the US sanctions list, in conjunction with owner Vladimir Potanin being sanctioned on Friday, December 16th.

The 61 year old oligarch is the majority shareholder and president of Norilsk Nickel, one of the world’s largest producers of nickel. According to the Bloomberg Billionaire’s Index, Potanin is the 40th richest man in the world, with a net worth of $29.7b.

Built by Oceanco and delivered in 2012, the billionaire’s 290ft (88.5m) Nirvana is registered in the Cayman Islands. The vessel has been added to the US sanctions list, along with four members of Potanin’s immediate family.

OFAC has also sanctioned the Russian commercial bank Rosbank which Potanin acquired earlier this year. He also has large stakes in Tinkoff Bank.

“By sanctioning additional major Russian banks, we continue to deepen Russia’s isolation from global markets,” said Brian Nelson, under secretary, Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.

OFAC added that The Central Bank of the Russian Federation considers Rosbank to be a “systemically important credit institution”. OFAC has therefore ordered the “wind down of transactions” involving Rosbank, or any entity it owns by March 15th 2023. The UK and Canada sanctioned Potanin and Rosbank earlier this year.

“[These] designations by the United States, together with actions taken by our international partners, will further inhibit the Putin regime’s ability to fund its horrific war against Ukraine,” said Nelson.

Nirvana is the latest vessel added to the growing list of OFAC sanctioned vessels.