On 18 May, the U.S. Treasury Department granted licence No. RUSSIA-EO14024-2023-1060959-1 to the Antiguan and Barbudan government, permitting approved parties to participate in the auction of Alfa Nero. The motoryacht has been moored in Antigua’s Falmouth Harbour for more than a year and is said to be owned by sanctioned Russian fertiliser tycoon Andrey Guryev.
82m Oceanco Alfa Nero
In the National Assembly of Antigua and Barbuda, Prime Minister Gaston Browne made the announcement public, paving the way for the Port Authority to auction off the 82-metre Oceanco. It has been stipulated that the prospective buyers must not be on a sanctioned list and need to have acquired a U.S. Treasury licence to engage in financial transactions related to the vessel. According to the release, several interested bidders have already secured their individual licences from the U.S. Treasury Department.
Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the United States of America, Sir Ronald Sanders, noted that while the licence enables the Antiguan and Barbudan government to proceed with the auction and sale of the vessel, other considerations, such as the formal removal of Alfa Nero from the U.S. Treasury’s Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) and Blocked Persons list, remain in process.
Ambassador Sanders stated, “This entire process broke new ground; there were no rule books or patterns to follow. In this sense, much has been achieved by a small state.”