Turkey's foreign minister says sanctioned Russian oligarchs are welcome as tourists and investors

From left: Roman Abramovich, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Alexei Mordashov.
From left: Roman Abramovich, Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Alexei Mordashov.Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images, Maxim Shemetov/AP, Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images
  • Turkish minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Russian oligarchs are welcome in the country, per CNBC.

  • It comes amid Russian billionaires being sanctioned by Western countries during the war.

  • Superyachts should remain outside the territorial waters of sanctioning countries, Turkey said.

Sanctioned Russian oligarchs are welcome in Turkey as tourists and investors, according to the country's foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu.

CNBC reported the story first.

The politician said in an interview with CNBC at the Doha Forum: "We implement UN-approved sanctions, so if any Russian citizens want to visit Turkey, of course, they can visit Turkey. Now Russians are coming to visit Turkey, that's no problem."

"If you mean that these oligarchs can do any business in Turkey, then of course if it is legal and it is not against international law, I will consider," he added, when pushed on whether sanctioned oligarchs can do business in the country.

He said: "If it is against international law, then that's another story."

The Turkish foreign minister's office did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment made outside of normal working hours.

Several Russian billionaires have had some of their assets seized amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Roman Abramovich's two multimillion-dollar superyachts were reportedly spotted in Turkey's coastal waters. Italy seized a superyacht belonging to one of Russia's richest men, Alexei Mordashov, last week.

Per CNBC's report, Turkey said that allowing Russian oligarchs into the country is legitimate – so long as the yachts remain outside the territorial waters of sanctioning countries, which extend 12 nautical miles from the coastline.

Cavusoglu also told reporters that he traveled to Russia and Ukraine for talks with his respective counterparts.

Meanwhile, Turkey, alongside France and Greece, intends to take part in a mission to evacuate Mariupol's remaining inhabitants. The countries are all NATO members.

Read the original article on Business Insider