Captain of Russian oligarch’s $85 million superyacht stuck in Norway says crew is catching and barbecuing fish after local suppliers refused to refuel the vessel: report

  • A Russian oligarch’s yacht captain said the crew caught fish as suppliers refused to fuel the ship.
  • The superyacht believed to belong to Vladimir Strzhalkovsky has been stuck in Norway for a month.
  • Strzhalkovsky hasn’t been sanctioned by the EU, which means Norway can’t seize the vessel.

The crew aboard a Russian oligarch’s superyacht in Norway is catching and barbecuing fish as local businesses refuse to refuel the vessel, which has left it stranded, the boat’s captain told The Wall Street Journal.

The vessel, Ragnar, is believed to be owned by Vladimir Strzhalkovsky, a former KGB agent who has ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin but has avoided sanctions, the outlet reported.

Ragnar, worth $85 million, according to SuperYacht Fan, has been stuck in the port of Narvik, Norway, for over a month because fuel suppliers are refusing to do business with Strzhalkovsky. 

Strzhalkovsky isn’t among the Russian oligarchs who have been hit by Western sanctions, but Norwegian fuel suppliers told the Norwegian public broadcaster NRK last week that they didn’t want to help any entities associated with Russia.

The US, the UK, and the European Union have levied sanctions against oligarchs believed to be close to Putin, which has led to seizures of yachts and private jets.

In some countries, people have protested against Russian goods and entities that aren’t sanctioned. Dockworkers in the UK this month refused to handle consignments of Russian natural gas, despite UK sanctions at the time allowing the import of the goods.

With no one willing to refuel the boat and nowhere to go, the crew of the Ragnar has been barbecuing freshly caught cod, Rob Lancaster, the yacht’s captain, told The Journal.

“We did not realize why there was so much fuss with us,” Lancaster told The Journal. “It happened so quickly.”

Lancaster told NRK last week that the 16 crew members on board were from Western countries and “have nothing to do with the owner of the boat.”

While the Ragnar is not subject to sanctions, a number of oligarchs’ yachts have been impounded in Europe. A $75 million yacht belonging to the Russian businessman Dmitry Pumpyansky was seized on Monday after it docked in Gibraltar, the local government told Insider.

It followed Spain’s detention of a $153 million superyacht linked to the arms tycoon Sergey Chemezov, France impounding a $120 million vessel linked to Putin’s confidant Igor Sechin, and Italy seizing a $578 million vessel linked to the oligarch Andrey Melnichenko.