Ilya Rachkov, a partner in Nectorov, Savelyev & Partners law firm, told, a state-owned Russian business newspaper, that owners had a right to compensation if their vessels are seized by the holders of ‘privateer’s letters,’ letters authorising private seizures reportedly being issued by the US and the EU.

The letters were utilised in the 19th century to help governments confiscate ships belonging to declared enemies, as reported by IBI, the digital magazine of the international boat industry.

Meanwhile, as Russian forces target civilian centres in Ukraine, Rachove described the confiscation of vessels as a violation of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

A number of superyachts have been seized in recent days by government authorities in Monaco, France and Italy, some of them belonging to oligarchs close to Putin.

However, Quantum Blue, whose owner is a retail shopping magnate in Russia, was released by the Monegasque authorities late on Thursday and is now sailing in the eastern Mediterranean. Its position on Sunday evening suggested it’s heading for the Suez Canal from where it seems likely it will travel to the Maldives, where a number of other Russian-owned yachts have gathered.

FILE PHOTO: Quantum Blue, photographed in Monaco on March 2 Jack Brodie