Arctic Sunrise heads for home


A Greenpeace vessel that was detained in Russia along with 30 activists over an Arctic drilling campaign is finally en route to a Dutch port but will require “extensive repairs” as it is in considerable state of disrepair, the environmental watchdog has claimed.

The Arctic Sunrise, which was arrested along with the so-called “Arctic 30” in mid-September, has left the port of Murmansk and is currently headed to Amsterdam, where it is expected to arrive early this month.

The ship’s arrest was annulled by Russia’s Investigative Committee in early June following the protest against drilling in the Pechora Sea by Gazprom Neft Shelf. The thirty protesters were released in late December.

A Greenpeace crew went back on board in late June and has spent three weeks making it seaworthy, after it was “found in a bad state”, the group said on Friday.

The vessel’s navigation, communications and safety systems had been either removed or destroyed, Greenpeace alleged.

“The Arctic Sunrise is now headed for Amsterdam, where the ship will need to undergo extensive repairs,” it continued.

On hearing the news in June that the ship was being released, Greenpeace International executive director Kumi Naidoo said: “Our ship was arrested during an entirely peaceful protest against Arctic drilling in international waters. There was absolutely no justification either for boarding the ship or keeping her for eight months.”

Activists from the Arctic Sunrise attempted to scale the Gapzrom Neft Shelf platform Prirazlomnaya in September in an attempt to stop production, which subsequently began.

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