Sea tribunal orders release of Greenpeace activists and ship

The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea has told Russia to release all 30 Greenpeace activists and the Dutch ship Arctic Sunrise on payment of a €3.6m bank guarantee.

The crew should be free to leave Russian territory and the guarantee should be paid by the Dutch government into a Russian bank, the Hamburg-based body said. It would be wrong to make the crew suffer because of a dispute between the two countries, the tribunal said in its ruling.

The Arctic Sunrise sails under the Dutch flag and two of the crew are Dutch nationals. The ship was seized by the Russian coastguard while protesting at Gazprom drilling in Arctic waters.

The Netherlands went to the tribunal in an effort to have the crew and ship freed. However, Russia has refused to cooperate with the hearing and it is unclear what status Friday’s ruling will have.

In addition, most of the activists have already been released on bail ahead of their trial in February next year. However, they have been ordered to remain in Russia, Nos television said.

Read the ruling

Thank you for donating to

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation