Russia drops Greenpeace piracy charges, Dutch again call for release

Russia has dropped piracy charges against the 30 crew members of Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise, replacing it with hooliganism instead, according to the Interfax press agency.

Investigators looking into the case have decided to classify their actions as hooliganism, which carries a maximum sentence of seven years, Dutch media quoted Interfax as saying.

Nevertheless, the Dutch government position remains unchanged and the Netherlands will continue to call for all 30, including two Dutch nationals, to be released, a foreign ministry spokesman told news agency ANP.


Greenpeace says the charges remain too serious for the offence. The campaigners are not hooligans or pirates and the complaint is still ‘absurd’, the environmental group said in a statement.

The crew were arrested and the ship seized and towed to Murmansk a month ago. They had been taking part in protests against Gazprom drilling in the Arctic sea.

The Netherlands is taking Russia to the international tribunal of the sea in an effort to have the crew and ship released.However, Russia confirmed on Wednesday it will not cooperate with the tribunal.

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