Interparus in touch! We return to the usual mainstream of the news. This time Norway excelled. The fuel supplier refused to refuel the superyacht M/Y Ragnar. We think you already understand why. But this time the story is very ambiguous.
Exposure: M/Y Ragnar ran out of fuel
The exploration superyacht M/Y Ragnar was ending her voyage as usual and needed refueling and a safe haven to resupply. There are 16 crew members from Western countries on board (it was not disclosed which ones). All of them worked quietly and peacefully in the North Sea.
When trying to request fuel, the crew received a hard refusal. And this despite the fact that M / Y Ragnar was even able to enter the port area in Narvik and even moor. And it's not even about the owner.
About the owner of M/Y Ragnar
The 68-meter charter yacht M/Y Ragnar is owned by Russian oligarch Vladimir Strzhalkovsky (it would be strange if not Russian). This man is a former KGB agent and made his fortune in the mining industry. He served as Deputy Minister under Vladimir Putin.
Now the most interesting. Strzhalkovsky is not on ANY EU sanctions list at the time of writing. Yes, in Norway this causes controversy among politicians. But officially Strzhalkovsky is not under sanctions. So his property should not fall under them.
Norwegian law currently does not allow the government to apply such sanctions without an EU directive. Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt explained to the Norwegian publication NRK that since Norway is not a member of the EU, there are no established channels through which they can submit their own proposals for the sanctions list.
Two sides of the same coin
We return to the crew and the yacht. M/Y Ragnar is currently moored in the port of Narvik next to a US Navy cargo ship. The yacht has an international crew. According to the assurances of the captain, none of the team knew about the political tension between the countries. They worked at that time in the North Sea and for them everything that happened was a real shock.
What adds complexity to this situation? The crew is not directly connected with Strzhalkovsky. At the same time, the team encountered a lack of understanding from local authorities. Many thought that the crew members were the same KGB agents as Strzhalkovsky was in the past. The port authorities provided the yacht with additional fencing and surveillance. Of course, the crew members are shocked.
What's more, Sven Holmlund, a local oil supplier, expressed little sympathy for the crew members and was quoted by the national publication NRK: "Why should we help them? They can row home or use a sail."
The captain of the ship left the following note on a post in the port of Narvik:
“The Ragnar yacht was unable to leave Norway due to discrimination from local residents and fuel suppliers. They refuse to refuel the Ragnar yacht. We faced further discrimination from the mayor of Narvik and the Norwegian government. For some reason, it is normal for them to refuel Russian trawlers and allow them to operate in Norwegian waters. After all, this is the 20% economy of Northern Norway.
At the same time, in the current difficult situation, local authorities consider it normal to discredit and discriminate against ordinary charter and research yachts. It's all for publicity.
As a Western crew, we are very disappointed with the double standard that Norway has applied to the yacht and crew. On the other hand, we would like to thank the port and the police for their continued support and understanding. These people were real and honest Norwegians. As a captain, I remember these people from my time in the Royal Navy in the late 80s and early 90s.
The yacht and its ultimate beneficial owner are not on either the European or US sanctions list. Therefore, we consider discrimination against us to be extremely unfair.”
The crew of the yacht is still alive and well. But at the moment there is no way to get fuel to return to the home port in Malta. The Norwegian publication NRK also reported that four members of the yacht's crew lost their jobs. Also, the people who booked this yacht for last Sunday never showed up.
Did you like the material? Rate it! Do not forget about other interesting articles on our site. Everything you need in the links below!
News and articles
COVID continues to transform our lives with its invisible hand. Among these changes is the creation of congestion in ports and marinas. This illustrates well the changes in the yacht and boat market.Read more…