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MCI join companies refusing to do business with Russia

Wednesday 9 March 2022 | Written by Matthew Littlewood | Published in Economy, National

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MCI join companies refusing to do business with Russia
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 "superyacht"). 

“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.”