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First Russian superyacht auctioned in wake of Ukraine invasion

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Axioma is the first Russian superyacht, seized in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, to be auctioned. Photo courtesy of hrpauctions.

Axioma is the first Russian superyacht, seized in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, to be auctioned. Photo courtesy of hrpauctions.

Aug. 23 (UPI) — The first luxury superyacht, seized in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, is up for auction, according to the auctioneer’s website.

Axioma, formerly owned by sanctioned Russian billionaire Dmitry Pumpyansky, is for sale to the highest bidder after the steel magnate failed to repay his JPMorgan Chase loan, according to auction house Howe Robinson Partners which is collecting offers through Tuesday.

The yacht is valued between $75 and $91 million, but is expected to sell for less.

The 236-foot-long yacht was built in 2013 and features an infinity pool, jacuzzi, theater, bar and a golf driving range.

The yacht has drawn a “staggering amount of interest,” according to Nigel Hollyer, a broker at HRP. At this point, there have been 115 inquiries, 28 inspections and two serious offers from potential buyers.

Axioma was seized in March in the British-controlled territory of Gibraltar near the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea. It is the first of a number of yachts to be auctioned since governments froze luxury vessels, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, including Russian oligarch Suleiman Kerimov’s $300 million Amadea yacht and the $700 million Scheherazade super yacht linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

JP Morgan won a court order in July allowing it to sell the yacht after sanctions imposed by the United States, United Kingdom and United Nations prevented Pumpyansky from making payments on his $20.6 million loan.

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JP Morgan has not commented yet on whether it plans to put the money from the sale of Axioma toward Pumpyanksy’s debt. Western governments have called for money made from seized Russian assets to go toward helping Ukraine and its refugees.

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