New regulations will allow small boats and private yachts to enter Russian waters without going through a tiresome procedure to obtain clearance from the FSB, the Foreign Ministry, the Interior Ministry and others.

The new rules apply to ships with a maximum capacity of 12, or 18 including crew. When the rules are fully implemented, there will be a list of Russian ports and routes accessible to foreign vessels.

St. Petersburg could profit most from the new law. The city already attracts cruise ships, and smaller vessels could bring wealthy tourists to the city.

Other cities including Moscow may have to wait for the benefits to trickle down, given a lack of infrastructure such as fueling stations and service centers, as well as navigation systems, maps, docking facilities and parking.