All 30 Greenpeace activists charged with hooliganism
MURMANSK, November 1 (RAPSI) - All 30 Greenpeace activists detained in Murmansk over the Gazprom drilling platform raid in the Pechora Sea have been charged with hooliganism, Greenpeace spokesperson Maria Favorskaya told RIA Novosti on Friday.
Piracy charges against activists have not been dropped, she said.
According to Favorskaya, the activists' lawyers will appeal the ruling only when the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in Hamburg delivers its ruling in this case. The hearing is scheduled for November 6.
The Arctic Sunrise ship was seized by Russian border guards on September 19 in international waters, within Russia's exclusive economic zone, a day after two Greenpeace activists scaled the Prirazlomnaya drilling rig in the Pechora Sea, the southeastern part of the Barents Sea. 30 people were on board the vessel. All of them were detained.
On October 9, investigators found drugs aboard the ship.
On October 21, the Netherlands filed a request with ITLOS seeking the imposition of interim measures which must be taken before the trial on the merits to protect the interests of the parties to the dispute.
The platform, owned by Gazprom Neft Shelf, a subsidiary of Russian energy giant Gazprom, is the first ice-resistant stationary oil platform in the world set to produce offshore Arctic oil.
Greenpeace and other environmental groups oppose drilling for oil in the Arctic because they say that it is currently impossible to sufficiently clean up potential oil spills in the region, and that such drilling cannot be economically viable.