There was a lot of noise around the boat after the war started in Ukraine. The owner is a former KGB officer and friend of Vladimir Putin, Vladimir Strzhalkovsky. In early March, several parties demanded that the boat should be confiscated.
Arve Dimmen, director of navigation technology and maritime services at the Norwegian Coastal Administration, says that the vessel was on its way from Narvik to Malta when it asked to enter the shelter, or protected waters, on 1 April.
– Normally when you ask for shelter, it is about weather and wave conditions that you encounter that you need protection from, says Dimmen.
He says that a dialogue between the Norwegian Coastal Administration, the Armed Forces and “Ragnar” led to the vessel having the request approved.
According to what the Norwegian Coastal Administration has been informed, repairs must also have taken place on board the boat.
This is confirmed by Lieutenant Colonel and spokesman for the Armed Forces’ operational headquarters, Ivar Moen, who says the boat has been granted a stay until 15 April.
– They have applied for 12 days to rectify a fault, and the vessel has been assigned a position that satisfies all interested parties, says Lieutenant Colonel and spokesman Ivar Moen.
Finally got to leave Narvik
The yacht, which has been in Norway for several months, was previously at the quay in Ålesund for a longer period. But it was only when the war in Ukraine broke out that “Ragnar” became a topic in both national and international media.
When it was at the quay in Narvik, the police, the Coast Guard and the Customs went on board the boat for a standard check, but nothing irregular was found.
After the war broke out, the yacht had long problems with obtaining fuel because diesel suppliers refrained from selling fuel.
Both the crew on board “Ragnar” and the port authorities were pleased that the boat could finally leave Narvik harbor at the end of March.
Neither the Norwegian Coastal Administration nor the Armed Forces are suspicious that the yacht is still in Norway.
– We have no reason to believe anything other than that the vessel needed shelter and thought that this is a normal way to get in and get protection from the weather, says Dimmen in the Norwegian Coastal Administration.
Ivar Moen in the Armed Forces is not worried either:
– They have applied to stay there and we have made assessments regarding the location of where the vessel should be located, so we relate to the application and nothing beyond that.
NRK has been in contact with the crew on board, who do not want to comment to the media.