Director Maritime Cook Islands Glenn Armstrong (far right) with others from the company. 20062630
Maritime Cook Islands (MCI) is refusing to do business with Russia in the wake of its conflict with Ukraine.
The organisation’s director Glenn Armstrong said the Cook
Islands has a Russian Deputy Registrar based in St Petersburg “with whom
we have done business for many years”.
The present count of yachts on the register is 33. All
are under 24 metres (the cut off point for being a
“None of these yachts are owned by "Oligarchs" or
sanctioned individuals,” Armstrong said,
“Most of these yachts are in Russian ports. As far as
we know none of them have been confiscated or ‘frozen’.”
Armstrong said MCI had been consulting with the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs and Immigration on how it should proceed.
“At this stage we have agreed to stop doing business with
Russia. The Cook Islands will not be used as a refuge for owners who are
fleeing other flags in an attempt to circumvent sanctions. We have
however agreed not to remove the existing owners from the flag, at least at
this stage,” Armstrong said.
MCI’s comments come after moves by countries such as France
to seize superyachts owned by Russian Oligarchs as part of their sanctions
against Russia in light of their invasion of Ukraine.
“MCI also has an agent in Odessa, Ukraine with whom we have
done business for many years. We have 45 small yachts on the register
that have Ukrainian owners,” Armstrong said.
“We are doing what we can to assist these owners given that
they might find it difficult to pay our fees and have scheduled surveys and
maintenance done on time.”