The Netherlands demands Russia explains Greenpeace ship seizure

The Netherlands has given Russia until 18.00 hours on Tuesday evening to explain its actions over the seizure of the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise, Nos television reports.

If no further information is forthcoming, Russia must release the ship and its crew immediately, defence minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert said in a briefing to MPs on Tuesday afternoon.

The Russian ambassador to the Netherlands was at the foreign office on Monday to discuss the situation, Nos said.


The ship, which operates under the Dutch flag, was boarded by Russian coastguard officials on Thursday while campaigning against drilling for oil. Two activists had climbed aboard a Gasprom rig drilling in the Pechora Sea, northwest of Russia’s Arctic coastline.

The ship was then towed to Murmansk. According to Greenpeace, the crew of around 30 have not yet been formally charged with any offence, despite earlier reports they had been arrested for piracy.

Diplomats from the Dutch consulate in St Petersburg have been able to board the ship following its arrival in Murmansk.

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