Yacht Of Russian Oligarch Stuck In Norway. Suppliers Won't Refuel: They Can Row Home!

A yacht owned by Russian oligarch Vladimir Strjalkovsky is stuck in Norway as suppliers refuse to refuel it. Narvik fuel sellers say they do not want to sell to the crew as they deeply disapprove of what Russia does in Ukraine.

The 68-meter luxury yacht, owned by oligarch Vladimir Strjalkovsky, a former KGB agent and a longtime acquaintance of Vladimir Putin, is currently stranded in a Norwegian port following a strong refusal by locals to sell fuel.

The crew on the yacht called Ragnar (an old Nordic word meaning "warrior") has been told by Norwegian fuel suppliers in the northern port of Narvik to  "row home" or "raise the sails". They say they will not refuel him because of the owner's ties to the Russian president.

Captain Rob Lankester, who claims to be a British former Royal Marine, has accused the Norwegian authorities of discrimination, saying the yacht owner is not on the sanctions list and that neither he nor the 15 persons in the crew are Russians. The yacht is not Russian either, he says, as it is registered in Malta and sails under the Maltese flag. "But no one listens to us," he said, according to Guardian.

Lankester added that he and his crew "just want to go home." He accused Norway of applying double standards, saying that Russian fishing vessels, which he said account for 20% of the northern Norwegian economy, are "able to buy fuel and operate unhindered in Norwegian ports and waters". Russia landed $150m in fish in Norway in 2021 according to the publication Intrafish.

Lankester told Norwegian broadcaster NRK, which was granted access to the yacht: "I understand that discrimination is prohibited in Norway. We are a western crew of 16 people on board. We have nothing to do with the owner of the boat".
Yacht norway
In a written complaint to the authorities on March 15, consulted by The Guardian, he wrote: "This yacht and its final real owner are not on any list of European or British sanctions, so we consider that discrimination against us is extremely unfair. "

Why Local Suppliers Do Not Want To Refuel The Yacht?

Locals said the superyacht was not welcome. Local leaders and members of the Narvik business community have urged Norwegian authorities to confiscate the vessel.

Sven Holmlund, general manager of Holmlund Oil Supplies in Narvik, told NRK: "The behavior of the Russians in Ukraine leaves me speechless. Why should we help them? They can row home or raise their sails."

Halbakk Bunkers, which supplies fuel along the entire Norwegian coast and specializes in supplying foreign ore vessels frequenting the port of Narvik, has also refused to help.

"We are fully aware of what is happening in Ukraine," Gunnar Grann, its managing director, told NRK. "Therefore, we have chosen to say no to all Russian ships, including trawlers. We do not want to get into a situation where we can contribute in any way to the Russian economy."

Ragnar - A SuperYacht That Oozes Luxury

NRK said the luxury yacht is amazing and has exclusive craftsmanship. It has ice-breaking capabilities and is equipped for polar exploration. It boasts its own gym, spa, swimming pool, helicopter platform, and several terraces, as well as a garage with snowmobiles, jet skis, ski equipment, and snowboards.

Ragnar's certified helideck can handle an Airbus EC145 helicopter. The yacht's industrial crane extends several meters and supports a load of up to 10 tonnes. Its steel hull is really two in one: an outer shell and an inner one separated by an air gap so that it is virtually indestructible. And while not unprecedented, its fleet of tenders and toys is impressive, including a BigBo amphibious ATV, heli-skiing equipment, four See-Doos, four ski scooters, six Seabobs, a multipurpose island, and a giant slide, according to boatinternational.com.

The yacht is nicely air-conditioned throughout, so it can handle a temperature range of -30 to 40 degrees Celsius.

It was recently put up for sale for 69 million euros and is available for rent for 40,000 euros per week.

Captain Lankester said he had sailed to Narvik for his guests to "engage in winter tourism", but that a group of guests who were due to arrive on March 13 "did not show up".

Who Is Vladimir Strjalkovski, The Owner Of Ragnar

Strjalkovski made a fortune in nickel mining as CEO of Norilsk Nickel, apparently receiving a $100 million golden payout when he stepped down after four years a decade ago. He was Russia's deputy economy minister and currently serves on the board of Dynamo Moscow.

He is not on the list of oligarchs sanctioned by the European Union as a result of Russia's war against Ukraine.

Norway, which is not a member of the EU but is closely associated with it and its legal framework through its membership of the European Economic Area, supports the sanctions already imposed.

A Norwegian government official told the country's media that the ship could only be confiscated if the action was supported by an EU directive.

Read Our Interesting Facts Articles