*[Enwl] [press-release] Armed Russian Coast Guard boards peaceful Greenpeace protest ship, arrests crew

ENWL.Bellona enwl.bellona на gmail.com
Пт Сен 20 00:54:52 MSD 2013

Armed Russian Coast Guard boards peaceful Greenpeace protest ship, arrests 

Pechora Sea, September 19, 2013 — The Russian Coast Guard has boarded the 
Greenpeace International ship Arctic Sunrise and is arresting the 25 
activists on board following a protest against Gazprom’s Arctic oil drilling 

At the time of the boarding, the Arctic Sunrise was circling Gazprom’s 
Prirazlomnaya platform at the three nautical mile limit, inside 
international waters. Coordinates confirm that the ship was inside of Russia’s 
Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), making this an illegal boarding by the 
Russian Coast Guard. (1)

The coordinates at the time of the boarding were: 69-19-53N : 57-16-53E

Using a helicopter and ropes, armed Coast Guard officials boarded the vessel 
and started rounding up the activists, assembling them on the helideck. 
Greenpeace International activists locked inside the radio room said they 
saw other activists detained on their knees with guns pointed at them.

The Coast Guard had earlier arrested and held without charge two Greenpeace 
International activists who had scaled Gazprom’s drill platform on Wednesday 
in a peaceful protest.

Greenpeace International executive director Kumi Naidoo said:

“This illegal boarding of a peaceful protest ship highlights the extreme 
lengths that the Russian government will go to to keep Gazprom’s dangerous 
Arctic drilling away from public scrutiny.

“We ask President Putin to restrain the Coast Guard and order them to 
holster their guns and withdraw. We are a peaceful organisation and our 
protest has done nothing to warrant this level of aggression.”

The Russian Ministry of International Affairs earlier claimed the Coast 
Guard intervened during Wednesday’s protest because the Arctic Sunrise 
represented an environmental and security threat — a claim that Greenpeace 
International strongly disputes.

“The Coast Guard has boarded our vessels with guns, threatened our activists 
at gunpoint and fired 11 warning shots across our ship, so who is the real 
threat to safety here?” said Ben Ayliffe, head of Greenpeace International’s 
Arctic oil campaign.

“Drilling for oil here in the Arctic is a grave environmental risk that must 
be stopped and this is why Greenpeace International came here, taking 
peaceful action to defend the environment on behalf of the millions of 
people around the world who are opposed to drilling operations.

“Make no mistake, the real threat to the Arctic comes not from Greenpeace 
International but from oil companies like Gazprom that are determined to 
ignore both science and good sense to drill in remote, frozen seas.”


Greenpeace International press desk: pressdesk.int на greenpeace.org or +31 20 
718 24 70


(1) The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea guarantees foreign vessels 
freedom to navigate in the Exclusive Economic Zone of another State without 
interference of any kind. Convention text at 

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From: <aaron.gray-block на greenpeace.org>
Sent: Thursday, September 19, 2013 8:04 PM
Subject: [press-release] Armed Russian Coast Guard boards peaceful 
Greenpeace protest ship, arrests crew

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