Greenpeace ship "Arctic Sunrise" (C) is seen anchored outside the Arctic port city of Murmansk, on the day when members of Russian Investigation Committee conducted an inspection onboard the Greenpeace ship, in this September 28, 2013 handout provided by Greenpeace. A Russian court ordered 20 Greenpeace activists from around the world to be held in custody for two months pending further investigation over a protest against offshore oil drilling in the Arctic, drawing condemnation and a vow to appeal. In proceedings that Greenpeace said evoked Soviet-era scare tactics, activists from a ship used in the protest at an oil rig were led to court in the port of Murmansk in handcuffs and held in cages for a series of hearings that ended early on September 27. Picture taken September 28, 2013. Mandatory Credit. REUTERS/Dmitri Sharomov/Greenpeace/Handout via Reuters

Greenpeace ship “Arctic Sunrise” (C) is seen anchored outside the Arctic port city of Murmansk, on the day when members of Russian Investigation Committee conducted an inspection onboard the Greenpeace ship, in this September 28, 2013 handout provided by Greenpeace. REUTERS/Dmitri Sharomov/Greenpeace/Handout via Reuters

Henry Meyer and Stepan Kravchenko

Oct. 9 (Bloomberg) — Russia said it found drugs on a Greenpeace ship, warning it may file more serious charges against some of the group’s activists already facing as long as 15 years in jail for alleged piracy during an Arctic protest.

Investigators are also trying to determine who among the campaigners was responsible for trying to ram into Russia’s Coast Guard craft, endangering the life of officials, the Investigative Committee said in a website statement today.

The detention of 28 activists and two journalists from 18 countries has provoked a diplomatic row as the Netherlands seeks to force Russia to release the Dutch-registered ship and its crew through international arbitration. Two Greenpeace protesters scaled OAO Gazprom’s Prirazlomnoye rig in the Pechora Sea on Sept. 18. A day later Russia’s Coast Guard boarded the group’s Arctic Sunrise ship in international waters and towed the vessel to Murmansk.

“We can only assume the Russian authorities are referring to the medical supplies that our ships are obliged to carry under maritime law,” Greenpeace said in an e-mailed statement. “The ship was first searched by Russian officers weeks ago, they scoured every corner of it, so we assume this announcement is designed to deflect attention from the growing global outrage over the continued imprisonment of the detainees.”

Adding to the tensions with the Netherlands, President Vladimir Putin yesterday demanded a Dutch apology after police arrested a Russian diplomat in The Hague and allegedly beat him in front of his family, according to a statement by the Foreign Ministry in Moscow. The Netherlands today said the envoy’s diplomatic immunity had been violated and offered its apologies over the incident, according to a Foreign Ministry statement.

Arctic Sunrise

Two citizens of the Netherlands are among the Greenpeace activists in custody in the port city of Murmansk and their boat, Arctic Sunrise, is Dutch-registered. The country’s authorities said Oct. 4 that they had started arbitration on the basis of the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea, a decision Greenpeace said it “applauds.”

Russian investigators said they found morphine and opium straw onboard the ship as well as “dual-use” equipment that may have been intended for other than ecological purposes.

Greenpeace International’s executive director, Kumi Naidoo, sent a letter to Putin asking for a meeting and offered to come to Russia and make himself a personal guarantor of the group’s activists if they are released on bail, according to an e-mailed statement.

Gazprom plans to become the first Russian company to start producing oil in Arctic as soon as this year. Greenpeace activists scaled the same drilling platform in 2012.

Copyright 2013 Bloomberg.

 

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  • Doug Bostrom

    Oh yeah, we can definitely trust the Russian security apparatus (what is it today, the OGPU? NKVD? whatever… the personnel are the same whatever the badge) to do an honest investigation.

    Who’s going to be the first to cheer ‘em on? “Yay Russians! I hate Greenpeace so anything goes!”

  • Roy HJ

    They try to stop drilling for oil, they should be there in a sail boat or electric vessel. Greenpeace not too peace full are they.. Leave the world alone, and find a real job. Great that the Russians have the balls to stand up. You go Putin.

    • Doug Bostrom
      • Nathan Jr.

        Putinphilia is a fad now. Every decent self-loathing human being wants to live in a country like Russia nowadays. Putin protected Snowden and stopped Obama from bombing Syria so he’s glorified as the anti-Obama (even though he was greatly mistrusted as recently as a few months ago). He can do no wrong in the eyes of the intellectually dishonest with right-wing agendas.

  • Mike Hunt

    Let’s all give the Rusk’s a big “Well Done”
    Those GreenPeace Douche Bags will be spending some serious time in a frozen Siberian Gulag…without their stash od dope…

  • jeff irons

    Mess with the bull, you get the horns. Mighta been best to stay out of that corral. And to top it off, the Dutch police beat a Russian diplomat in front of his family? Oh, I’m sure their apology is sufficient for the Russians….? The Russians are no one to mess with. This could be like the 100,000 German troops captured in 1943 in Stalingrad and shipped to Siberia, of which only 10% lived and made it back to the then East Germany over a decade later. That oil platform will be in full operation before any of those activists are freed.

  • working man

    A boat load of Greenpeace activists with dope….. Who would have thought that was possible.

    Where is the best place to hide your money around a Greenpeace member….. Under the soap dish.

  • working man

    Putin says, Hippie… you will respect my athoritiiii.

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