A Russian-owned superyacht can’t leave a dock in Norway not because of sanctions, but because no one in the port will sell it fuel.
The Ragnar is owned by Russian oligarch Vladimir Strzhalkovsky, a former KGB agent who has long been linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“We find the discrimination against us, extremely unjust,” the yacht’s captain, Robert Lankester, wrote in a message decrying the ship’s predicament. He noted that Strzhalkovsky is not currently on a European or U.K. sanctions list. And, he said, the yacht’s crew is not Russian.
Lankester’s public notice was highlighted by Norwegian public broadcaster NRK, which reports that the Malta-registered ship is sitting at a quay in Narvik, a port city in northern Norway.
Strzhalkovsky is the former head of mining giant Norilsk Nickel. The 68-meter Ragnar was custom-built on the hull of a former service ship capable of pushing its way through ice.
Part of its bespoke interior evokes a cozy British pub, according to a profile in Boat International. And while its amenities include “a BigBo amphibious ATV, heli-skiing equipment, four See-Doos, four ski scooters, six Seabobs, a multipurpose island and a giant slide,” it currently can’t find anyone who will fill its fuel tanks.
Let them row home, a local supplier said. He and others say they want to support Ukraine.
The Ragnar, which was listed for sale a year ago, offers charter trips for winter getaways. But its captain says a recent trip fell through, and he now wants to bring the ship back to its home port in Malta.