Italian authorities seized Russian oligarch Andrey Melnichenko's mega yacht on Friday, according to a statement from Italy's finance police.
The statement said the vessel — called "SY A" — is worth about 530 million euros ($578 million) and was in storage at the northeastern port of Trieste.
It's one of the largest superyachts in the world, according to its manufacturer, Nobiskrug.
The sanctions: Melnichenko was sanctioned by the European Union on March 9 as part of expanded punitive measures against Russian oligarchs. According to the EU, he owns the major fertilizer producer EuroChem Group and the coal company SUEK.
The EU council decision, which authorized sanctions against Melnichenko, noted he and 36 other business leaders met with Russian President Vladimir Putin after the invasion of Ukraine began to discuss the potential economic impact of EU and US sanctions.
The EU council decision reads: "The fact that he was invited to attend this meeting shows that he is a member of the closest circle of Vladimir Putin and that he is supporting or implementing actions or policies which undermine or threaten the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, as well as stability and security in Ukraine.
"It also shows that he is one of the leading businesspersons involved in economic sectors providing a substantial source of revenue to the government of Russia, which is responsible for annexation of Crimea and destabilization of Ukraine."
On Saturday, Melnichenko spokesman Alex Andreev told CNN that the Russian oligarch removed himself from the board of both Eurochem and SUEK (companies he founded) after the EU sanctioned him. Andreev also said that Melnichenko was also no longer the “beneficiary” of the companies, in a statement to CNN.
When asked by CNN if Melnichenko had any comment on the situation in Ukraine, Andreev declined to provide additional comment and instead pointed towards his initial emailed statement to CNN.
“Andrey Melnichenko is an international self-made entrepreneur. He has no relation to the tragic events in Ukraine. He has no political affiliations,” Andreev said in that statement. “There is no justification whatsoever for placing him on the EU sanctions list. We will be disputing these baseless and unjustified sanctions, and believe that the rule of law and common sense will prevail.”