A superyacht owned by a wealthy Russian businessman and an alleged ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin is stuck in a Norwegian port because local businesses are refusing to refuel it.
According to The New York Times and NPR, the Ragnar, a yacht owned by Vladimir Strzhalkovsky — a former KGB agent and former head of mining giant Norilsk Nickel — is currently stuck in Narvik, Norway, with an empty fuel tank.
The yacht's captain, Robert Lankester, told the Norwegian news outlet NRK that he believes the "discrimination" levied against the ship and its crew by local businesses is "extremely unjust."
Strzhalkovsky has not yet been sanctioned by the European Union, nor the U.K., who has levied sanctions on several oligarchs and Putin allies. However, local fuel distributors are still refusing to do business with the crew of the Ragnar.
"Why should we help them?" Sven Holmlund said, according to The Daily Beast. "They can row home. Or use a sail."
Superyacht Fan notes that the Ragnar was listed for sale last March at a price of $85 million.
According to NPR, Strzhalkovsky made U.S. headlines in 2017, when members of Congress pressed Wilbur Ross, then the secretary of commerce, about his former role as vice chairman of the Bank of Cyprus — a post that, for a time, he shared with Strzhalkovsky.