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The Royal Romance, a yacht seized from Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Medvedchuk, in an undated photo. (Ukraine's Agency for Investigation and Management of Assets)
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A luxury yacht belonging to Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Medvedchuk was officially transferred to the Ukrainian state on May 15, said Ukraine's Agency for Investigation and Management of Assets, known by its Ukrainian acronym ARMA.

The Royal Romance, a 92-meter (300-foot) luxury yacht worth an estimated 200 million euros ($218 million), was seized by Croatian authorities in March 2022 in relation to EU sanctions imposed on Medvedchuk.

"This is a historic moment for our country," said Shipping Administration head Yevhenii Ihnatenko.

"For the first time in the history of Ukraine, a seized asset (originally) located abroad received registration with the Ukrainian state."

Ihnatenko added that profits from the sale of the yacht would be directed to Ukraine's state budget.

Long thought to be Russian President Vladimir Putin's right-hand man in Ukraine, Medvedchuk was charged with high treason and placed under house arrest in 2021, only to flee as Russia launched its full-scale invasion.

Medvedchuk was subsequently re-arrested in April 2022. In September of the same year, he was handed over to Russia as part of a prisoner exchange.

ARMA is responsible for managing assets seized from indicted individuals, usually those accused of corruption, pending a court decision on their guilt or innocence.

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