The Sheherazade is owned by Eduard Khudainatov, former Rosneft number one. The yellow on his wealth: he is not among the billionaires but can afford a yacht worth 700 million. The rumors about the Russian president
Genoa – It would be Eduard Yurievich Khudainatov the owner of the maxi yacht Sheherazade moored in Marina di Massa, in Tuscany, and called “Putin’s yacht”. This was reported by Italian investigative sources, specifying that the oligarch’s name is not among those affected by the EU sanctions for the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The owner of the yacht – 140 meters, the 12th largest in the world – has always remained a mystery in the nautical world since it left the Lurssen shipyards in 2020, fueling rumors and speculations about the real owner. Khudainatov, former president of Rosneftis now the head of a private group still in the oil & gas sector that does big business with Russian public companies such as Rosneft.
The yacht, worth 700 million, it has a maintenance cost of about 50/70 million per year but Khudaynatov’s name does not even appear in the rankings of the richest men in Russia.
Formally is owned by a company in the Marshall Islands, which however turns out to be an empty box. The case of the yacht exploded in the media after an article in the New York Times that spoke of the mystery about the real owner and the rumors that she could be traced back to Putin himself.
Khudainatov it is not currently among the sanctioned subjects for the invasion of Ukraine. But two of its companies, IPC and NNK-Promirnefteproduct, were sanctioned by the US in 2017 for selling oil to North Korea in violation of the embargo.
Khudainatov comes considered close to Vladimir Putin and to Igor Sechin, Rosneft’s number one and one of the most powerful men in Putinian Russia. The two have been on a relationship since 2000, when he was in charge of the president’s election campaign in the Ural region, the westernmost region of Asian Russia. Immediately after the elections he is awarded the medal of the Order for Merit to the Fatherland. From there begins his climb to the top of the state economy, which leads him to the leadership of the oil giant Rosneft. In 2012 he leaves the leadership of Rosneft in Sechin, becomes first vice president and begins to buy assets in the oil sector, relying on important political support – Putin and Sechin, in the first place -. In 2014, his name is indicated as one of the possible buyers of the assets of Sistema, the holding company of the financier Vladimin Yevtushenko, who fell out of favor for opposing the sale to Rosneft of the share of his holding in the oil company Bashneft, at the center of the appetites of Sechin. His group, according to a 2017 reconstruction by the Warsaw Institute think-tank, was controlled through a long and opaque corporate chain with a number of offshore companies.
In the same years, his company Nnk is also one of the three recipients of state contributions from the National Prosperity Fund, financed with part of the sales of hydrocarbons and intended to finance development projects in the sector and which contributed to the growth of the then small company. The only other two beneficiaries of the fund’s contributions, writes a report by the Warsaw Institute think-tank, were the giants Rosneft and Novatek.
In 2017, an investigation by Russian cable TV Dozhd reported on Khudainatov’s ties with the St. Petersburg mafia, denied by the person concerned. The TV, strongly critical of Putin, was later closed.
The Italian authorities are conducting a series of investigations to “trace” the ownership of a series of assets referable, directly or indirectly, to the oligarchs affected by EU sanctions.
Khudainatov, who has negotiated a series of contracts with Eni for development projects since the Rosneft summit, knows our country well. In 2015 he allegedly bought – again through an offshore company – for 25 million Villa Altichiara of Portofinoone of the most beautiful and famous of the Ligurian coast