Dutch take legal action over Greenpeace ship seized by Russia

The Netherlands is taking legal action against Russia in an effort to have the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise released from Russian coastguard control.

Foreign minister Frans Timmermans said on Friday he is taking steps under the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea to have the ship released. He will fight for the crew’s release through diplomatic channels.

The 30 activitists on board the ship, which sales under the Dutch flag, were arrested last month while protesting about a Gasprom rig in Russia’s northern waters. All have since been remanded in custody and charged with piracy.

According to Nos television, a tribunal in Hamburg will decide if Russia was right to take the action it did.

‘We understand that Russia wants to preserve the security of its waters but we are not in agreement with the way the Greenpeace ship has been dealt with,’ a spokesman for the minister told website nu.nl. ‘That is why we are taking this action.’

According to the BBC, the Netherlands is the first country to take action in an effort to have its nationals released. Two of the crew are Dutch.

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