HONG KONG –
Hong Kong chief John Lee mentioned on Tuesday there was “no authorized foundation” for the town to behave on Western sanctions, when requested a few Russian yacht berthed in the monetary centre that belongs to a sanctioned Russian oligarch.
Hong Kong authorities have been criticized by the U.S. State Department for permitting a luxurious yacht belonging to sanctioned Russian oligarch Alexey Mordashov to dock in Hong Kong waters final week.
The U.S. State Department mentioned the usage of Hong Kong by people evading sanctions from a number of jurisdictions may carry reputational dangers and name into query the “transparency” of the monetary hub’s enterprise setting.
Hong Kong’s chief John Lee, nevertheless, who himself has been sanctioned by the United States for his position in clamping down on native freedoms, mentioned Hong Kong would not act on unilateral sanctions imposed on Mordashov by particular person jurisdictions.
“We can’t do something that has no authorized foundation,” Lee instructed reporters.
Instead, Lee mentioned Hong Kong would solely abide by United Nations sanctions.
“We will adjust to United Nations sanctions, that’s our system, that’s our rule of legislation.
Mordashov, a billionaire near President Vladimir Putin, was amongst a variety of Russian oligarchs sanctioned by the European Union and the United States – however not the United Nations – after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine for their hyperlinks to Putin.
While a variety of Russian superyachts have been seized or denied entry in Europe and different jurisdictions, the 465 foot (141-metre) Nord might be seen docked prominently in waters west of Hong Kong’s iconic Victoria Harbour. It is valued at greater than US$500 million.
Lee, who is because of host a global funding summit in November with prime world enterprise leaders, additionally criticized sanctions imposed by the United States on Hong Kong officers for their position in curbing Hong Kong’s freedoms beneath a China-imposed safety legislation.
“It is a really barbaric act and I’m not going to remark. Officials in Hong Kong do what is true to guard the pursuits of the nation and the pursuits of Hong Kong.
“We’ll simply chortle off the so-called sanctions.”
Reporting By James Pomfret and Clare Jim; Editing by Anne Marie Roantree, Kim Coghill and Raju Gopalakrishnan