Dilbar is one of the world’s largest superyachts. The 512ft vessel weighs almost 16,000 tonnes and boasts a swimming pool, two helicopter pads, a sauna, a beauty salon, and a gym. According to the US Treasury, it is worth up to $735m.
In April, after Russia’s illegal invasion of my country, the German authorities seized Dilbar as it was docked in Hamburg.
They moved to act because the owner is Alisher Usmanov, a Russian oligarch once estimated to be the richest person in the UK.
Following the invasion, Mr Usmanov, who used to co-own Arsenal Football Club, was placed on Western sanctions lists because of his close ties to Vladimir Putin, the Russian president. The US Treasury said his links to the Kremlin “enrich him and enable his luxurious lifestyle”.
It is not yet known what will happen to Dilbar.
But for Ukraine, it is very clear.
The superyacht and all of its 1,000 sofa cushions should be confiscated from Mr Usmanov for his links to a Russian regime that has raped, tortured and murdered Ukrainians during an unprovoked war that has tilted the world on its axis.
The proceeds of sale should be immediately transferred to the Ukrainian people, who have suffered a gross violation of international peace and security.
The sale of the Dilbar could help to support the 13 million Ukrainians who have been forced to flee their homes since the Russian invasion.
It could help to support the 4.8 million Ukrainian jobs that have been lost during the war — 30pc of our overall workforce.
It could also help to support more than six million people in Ukraine who each day struggle to access drinking water.
But it is not just the German authorities who can act over Mr Usmanov. Canada leads the way against Russian oligarchs
Canada has recognised that Ukraine, and the world, faces a new era that requires new and innovative solutions. Last month, its parliament passed groundbreaking laws allowing for the freezing and confiscation of Russian assets in Canada.
These can then be transferred to assist with the “reconstruction of a foreign state... negatively affected by a gross violation of international peace and security”.
Ukraine welcomes the courageous decision of the Canadian parliament. We also call on other Western leaders to enact the same laws.
We will discuss this and other potential measures on Monday, at an international conference on the post-war economic reconstruction of Ukraine in Switzerland, where we will be calling for a new Marshall Plan.
Yet amid the carnage and trauma, hope still remains. If Ukraine receives the same global financial support as Germany after World War II, then we can use this terrible conflict as a unique opportunity. Not just to recover war-related damages, but to turbocharge economic growth and quality of life in Ukraine.
Andriy Yermak is the head of the Office of the Ukrainian President
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