On Tuesday (Oct 11), Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee said that there was “no legal basis” for the city to act on western sanctions regarding a Russian yacht, belonging to a Russian oligarch that berthed in the financial center.
A luxury yacht belonging to Alexey Mordashov, a Russian oligarch, was seen docked in Hong Kong waters last week. Mordashov is a billionaire who is close to Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, and was sanctioned after the invasion of Ukraine.
The U.S. State Department said Hong Kong behaves towards individuals evading sanctions from multiple jurisdictions, a risk that calls into question the “transparency” of the financial hub’s business environment.
However, Hong Kong stated that it would not act on unilateral sanctions imposed on Mordashov and would only comply with United Nations sanctions.
The city’s chief executive himself was also sanctioned by Washington for his role in clamping down on local freedoms.