Friday 27 November 2020

Russia ordered to pay €5.4m compensation in Greenpeace case

Russia has been ordered to pay some €5.4m in compensation for the 2013 Arctic Sunrise incident, in which Russia boarded the Greenpeace ship and arrested its crew of 30.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague said Russia had broken its international obligations by boarding the ship in September 2013 during protests about drilling for oil in the Arctic Sea. The Arctic Sunrise was sailing under the Dutch flag.

The compensation package includes €1.7m for damage to the ship, compensation for the crew and €625,000 in legal costs. Several members of the crew spent months in a Russia jail charged with piracy.

Caretaker foreign affairs minister Bert Koeders said in a statement that he welcomed the court’s decision and that he expected Russia would pay up.

‘The ruling makes it clear that ships in international waters cannot simply be boarded and the crew arrested,’ he said. ‘The Arctic Sunrise was making use of the right to demonstrate. This ruling will contribute to the development of the international rule of law, in particular maritime law and the right to freedom of speech.’

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