Many of the luxury resorts of the Mediterranean or Caribbean taboo for sanctioned individuals

Russia’s economy deals with the worst recession in three decades. The country’s gross domestic product is expected to shrink by 12% as a result of the Western sanctions imposed due to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, according to an internal Finance Ministry forecast obtained by Bloomberg.

A potential oil embargo, a decline in Russian gas consumption by EU countries, and the mass exodus of foreign companies from the Russian market were named as the key reasons for the worst expected downturn since 1994. Natalia Lavrova, chief economist at BCS Financial Group, said the trend is likely to expand gradually, “with a lot of negative carrying over into 2023.”

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EU starts to consider delaying oil sanctions as Hungary hardens stance. Delaying a ban on Russian oil in the next EU sanctions package against Russia is gaining support among EU nations, which Hungary has said would be too damaging to its economy, Bloomberg reports, citing EU diplomats. EU governments are still, however, pushing for an agreement on the full package by Monday, when EU foreign ministers will meet in Brussels.

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You’re more likely to spot a Russian oligarch’s yacht in Turkey or Israel than the south of France these days.

International penalties imposed after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine mean that many of the luxury resorts of the Mediterranean or Caribbean are taboo for sanctioned individuals, and their assets.

But there are still safe havens for those looking to escape the net — a reality that shows the limits of US reach, and the consequences of American retrenchment.

Key reading:

Donald Trump made a virtue of disengaging from parts of the world he saw as having little economic value to America. Joe Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan was a key moment of retreat.

US allies have taken note, and some countries are maintaining ties with Russia as a result. Turkey, a NATO member, is blocking bids by Sweden and Finland to join the military alliance. Israel rankles at US efforts to reinstate the Iran nuclear deal. The United Arab Emirates declined to join those at the United Nations condemning Russia’s invasion.

Flag of OPECMore politically damaging for Biden, the UAE is part of the OPEC cartel that has so far refused to raise crude output to help bring down prices at the pump.

US disengagement can be seen in Africa, while in Asia it’s involved in a tussle for influence with China. In Latin America, Colombia looks set to elect a president who may reinstate ties with Venezuela over Washington’s head.

To be sure, Japan and South Korea have imposed their own penalties on Russia. But that can’t hide the fact that swathes of the world are not inclined to follow the US lead.

True, Biden is flooding Ukraine with US military and other aid that dwarfs European contributions. Even so, the war still risks demonstrating that the US no longer holds the global sway it once did.  — Alan Crawford

Roman Abramovich’s yacht Eclipse moored in Marmaris, Turkey, on March 22. Photographer: Fatih Cetin/AFP/Getty Images

After not broadcasting its location for almost two weeks, a $150 million luxury superyacht linked to Leonid Mikhelson — a sanctioned billionaire and Russia’s second-richest person — reappeared, transmitting that it was headed to the Bahamas and Barcelona. But its final destination was actually Turkey, a favored destination for superyachts connected to Russian tycoons facing scrutiny as countries look to step up sanctions for Putin’s war.

The superyacht Pacific at Cruise Port Harbour in Marmaris, Turkey, in 2020. Source: Anadolu Agency

Published by Guestspeaker

A joint effort of several authors who do find that nobody can keep standing at the side and that “Everyone" must care about what is going on in today’s world. We are a bunch of people who do not mind that somebody has a totally different idea but is willing to share the ideas with others and to be Active and willing to let others understand how "today’s decisions will influence the future”. Therefore we would love to see many others to "Act today".

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