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Arctic Exploitation - Murmansk Pirates

By JW Dowey - 02 Oct 2013 8:52:24 GMT
Arctic Exploitation - Murmansk Pirates

Oil platform in the Arctic Ocean; Credit: © Shutterstock

Greenpeace have been responsible for many crimes against those who challenge nature. The Russian insistence that there was a threat to people's security on a giant drilling platform seems absurd.

30 activists and journalists on Arctic Sunrise had been protesting against Arctic exploitation on 18th September when they were arrested next to Gazprom's installation.

A 500m zone is supposed to be kept clear around the platform, but this seems strange given the nature of their industry, despite international acceptance of such zones. Greenpeace Russia deny entering this security zone with the ship, but they did enter with the Greenpeace characteristic inflatables and two activists attempted to mount the edge of the rig.

The police, (or whoever they are), had seized Greenpeace equipment and documents. Even the Russian President mentioned that piracy claims were irrelevant but that doesn't mean that all activists are not in danger of lengthy imprisonment. He claims, "they were trying to seize this platform - it is evident that those people violated international law." By comparison, the Greenpeace spokesman, Ivan Blokov, said the allegations were a fantasy.

Helicopters carrying armed men in balaclavas raided the ship in the Pechora Sea within the Arctic Ocean, then took over the vessel. Campaigners from Russia and 17 other countries were on the ship.

After being towed for 4 days to Murmansk, the 30 were imprisoned at various sites in the vicinity. Some reports now say they are being held on the Arctic Sunrise itself.

The danger to the protesters and the Arctic is that Russia lays claim to much of the oil and gas under the Arctic. With the economy struggling, they have to sell this to China and Western Europe to gain large profits for the state. Even other distant states such as Denmark (via Greenland) claim the whole North Pole area because of this fossil wealth.

Latest is the actual piracy charge against 5 activists and journalists. Greenpeace call it, "irrational and absurd." We would go further than that- you're pushing it, Russia. The consequences of monolithic bullying are, guess what, more protestors and more extreme people. We thought you had enough of that already?