Wednesday 20 January 2021

Dutch officials ponder action after Greenpeace piracy charges

The cabinet will decide this week what action to take against Russia, now a number of Greenpeace activists, including two Dutch nationals, have been charged with piracy.

The activists, arrested last month while protesting about Gasprom drilling in the Artic sea, now face 15 years in jail. In total, 30 have been remanded in custody for two months pending a court hearing but it is unclear how many have been charged with piracy.

Their boat, Arctic Sunrise, was sailing under the Dutch flag when it was seized by Russian coastguard and towed to Murmansk.

Information

Foreign ministry officials are currently studying information from the Russian authorities and will then decide what, if any, action should be taken.

Foreign minister Frans Timmermans told parliament last week he would prefer to reach a diplomatic solution but did not rule out legal action.

Greenpeace said it had launched the protest against the drilling because the Russian platform is threatening the fragile Arctic environment and is poorly equipped to deal with spills.

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