Russian yachts and cash go where American influence has faded

Andrey Melnichenko was at an impasse. Squeezed by European sanctions targeting Russian billionaires, one of Russia’s richest men needed safe jurisdiction to protect the companies he had created. He found it in the United Arab Emirates.

Moscow-based coal producer SUEK and Zug, Switzerland-based fertilizer company EuroChem, both founded by Melnichenko, are opening local business units in the Gulf oil exporter, according to five people with knowledge of the matter. The 50-year-old resigned from the boards of both companies ahead of EU sanctions imposed over his alleged links to the Kremlin. Swiss authorities said in May they had unblocked EuroChem’s accounts after Melnichenko transferred ownership to his wife.

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