Non-Sanctioned Russian Oligarch's 223-Foot Yacht Stuck, Can't Buy Fuel

As sanctions target Russian oligarchs' yachts, one vessel did not need sanctions to keep it docked, as the locals did it instead.

Former KGB agent Vladimir Strzhalkovsky's yacht Ragnar, which is docked in Norway, is stranded due to the locals refusing to sell him fuel, The National reported. Though he is not on the European Union's sanction list and Norway is not a member of the EU, the Norwegians took this action because of his ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Since Russia's invasion of Ukraine nearly a month ago, sanctions from Western countries have targeted Russian oligarchs and their wealth. Yachts and superyachts are among the properties the sanctions have put restrictions on, with vessels being docked across Europe.

Though Ragnar is owned by a Russian, British man Robert Lankester, who is the captain of the vessel, told Norwegian public broadcaster NRK that the crew is made up of 16 people from Western countries and has "nothing to do with the owner."

"We find the discrimination against us, extremely unjust," Lankester wrote, according to the BBC.

Bjørnar Skjæran, Norway's Minister of Fisheries and Ocean Policy, also told local newspaper Fremover the government "does not want businesses and persons to apply their own sanctions against Russian companies," The National added.

However, gas suppliers in the area still refuse to help due to the link between the yacht and the oligarch, with Sven Holmlund, general manager for Holmlund Oil Service, telling NRK "they can row home. Or use a sail."

Rune Edvardsen, mayor of Narvik, the town where the yacht is stranded, said in The National report that the crew members can get power from the port "so they're not freezing to death."

Ragnar, which is about 223 feet long, has a deck big enough to land a helicopter on it, according to Boat International. It also features heli-skiing equipment, an amphibious car, multiple ski scooters and a giant slide.

The targeting of Russian-owned yachts started at the beginning of the month, when French officials seized the Amore Vero yacht owned by Igor Sechin. That same day, German authorities blocked billionaire Alisher Usmanov's yacht Dilbar, worth $600 million, from leaving its port.

The superyacht of another former KGB agent, Sergei Chemezov, was also seized in Spain on Tuesday. It is worth more than $140 million. Other seizures have occurred in EU member countries like Croatia and Italy.

In order to avoid Western sanctions, some oligarchs have made attempts to move their yachts outside of the sanctions' reach, Newsweek previously reported. The yachts have been docked in places like the United Arab Emirates, the Maldives and the Caribbean.

Some news sites and private individuals have been keeping track of the yachts' locations to help with the seizures.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

Update 03/18/22 5:55 p.m. ET: This story was updated to add more information and background.

Russian Yacht Stranded in Norway
A yacht owned by a Russian oligarch was stranded in Norway after locals refused to provide it with fuel. Above, the yacht 'Lady M,' owned by Russian oligarch Alexei Mordashov, docked at Imperia's harbor in Italy on March 5, 2022. Photo by Andrea Bernardi/AFP via Getty Images