The 44 Greenpeace activists who were detained by Dutch authorities while trying to block a Russian oil tanker from docking in Rotterdam have been released.
The vessel was said to be carrying the first oil from a new offshore platform in the Arctic and was on its way to Europe following Gazprom’s announcement last month that it was hailed by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.
Four activists on inflatable boats approached the tanker yesterday and painted ‘No Arctic Oil’ in large letters on the hull. A separate group of 20 activists in three inflatables then positioned themselves between the tanker and the quayside to prevent it from offloading oil.
Dutch authorities later boarded the Greenpeace flagship ‘Rainbow Warrior’ (pictured), with the environmental group claiming they broke down the door of the communications room and towed the ship to shore.
The group is calling for an end to offshore Arctic oil drilling both in Russia and in the world.
Kumi Naidoo, Greenpeace International Executive Director said: “From Russia to Rotterdam, our governments remain hopelessly dependent on oil while the side effects of this addiction become more dangerous by the day. Breaking this chain is not just an environmental imperative, it is a matter of peace and security. The fight to stop Arctic oil drilling is one of the defining battles of our time. We will not be intimidated and we will win.”
Last year 30 Greenpeace campaigners were arrested by Russian authorities after they scaled Gazprom’s oil rig in protest against the energy giant’s plans to drill in the Arctic.