Dutch foreign minister criticises Russia over Arctic Sunrise ruling

Bert KoendersDutch foreign minister Bert Koenders has criticised Russia for stating it will not comply with a court ruling about its seizure of Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise in 2013.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague on Monday ordered Russia to pay the Netherlands compensation for the incident in which the ship was seized and its crew arrested on piracy charges.

The tribunal ruled that Russia broke international law when it boarded the ship and arrested the 30-strong crew, including two Dutch nationals. Nor was there any question of terrorism as Russia claimed, the tribunal said.

However, Russia said on Tuesday it would not recognise the ruling, describing it as an ‘encouragement to non-peaceful protest at sea’. Russia is a signatory to both the court’s founding treaties.

‘The tribunal has ruled that the Netherlands has a right to compensation,’ Koenders said in a statement. ‘The ruling is binding for Russia. Russia should obey international law like everyone else and respect the ruling.’

Koenders said he would raise the issue with Moscow as soon as possible.

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