Sunday 18 April 2021

Russia fails to respond to Dutch demands over Greenpeace ship

Russia has failed to respond to Dutch demands for an explanation of the seizure of the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise by Russian coastguards, Nos television said on Wednesday.

Defence minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert told MPs on Tuesday afternoon that the government had called for an update on the situation. Otherwise Russia should release the ship and its crew of 30, she said.

It is unclear what steps the Netherlands can take next, Nos said.

Oil

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 where diplomats from the Dutch consulate in St Petersburg were able to board.

According to Greenpeace, the crew are now being questioned by Russian investigators. According to some reports, they may face piracy charges.

The crew are being well-treated and some have had contact with friends and family, Greenpeace told Nos.

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