The yacht was seized by customs in the French port on March 2 after it was found in breach of the law by attempting to leave.
In a statement, the French Ministry of Economy and Finance linked the yacht to Igor Sechin, who was added to a list of sanctioned individuals by the European Union on February 28. The sanction document said Sechin was one of Vladimir Putin's "most trusted and closest advisors" and "one of the most powerful members of the Russian political elite."
Dans le cadre de la mise en œuvre des sanctions de l'Union européenne à l'encontre de la Russie et en soutien à l’Ukraine 🇺🇦 nous avons procédé à la saisie d’un premier yacht.— Olivier Dussopt (@olivierdussopt) March 3, 2022
➡️ L’Amore Vero est immobilisé en France. pic.twitter.com/ncr4UOP3OD
The statement said: "This attempt to leave French territorial waters constituted an offence on the basis of article 459 of the customs code, aimed at 'any person' contravening 'the measures restricting economic relations and financial resources provided for by community regulations'."
"This yacht fell within the scope of the freezing measures decided against its owner. Immediately applicable, these measures required the immobilisation of the vessel."
Amore Vero arrived in La Ciotat on January 2 where repairs were due to be carried out over three months. "The ship was making arrangements to sail urgently without having completed the planned work," the statement read.
The vessel was stopped and boarded by authorities who spent "several hours" on board.
Bruno Le Maire, minister of economy, finance and relations and Olivier Dussopt, minister of public action and accounts, said: "We thank the customs for this seizure reviewed in the context of the implementation of the sanctions of the European Union against Russia."
Amore Vero was built by Dutch shipyard Oceanco and delivered to its owner in 2013 under the name St. Princess Olga.
Meanwhile, German authorities have denied reports that 156 metre Lurssen motor yacht Dilbar has been seized. Recent press reports said the yacht had been seized in the port of Hamburg, but a spokesperson for the city's economic authority said: "No yachts have been confiscated."