Greenpeace Leaves Kara Sea After Russian Coast Guard Warning

GreenPeace Leaves Kara Sea After Russian Coast Guard Boards Its Vessel

Four members of the Russian Coast Guard today boarded the Greenpeace Arctic Sunrise vessel. According to Greenpeace the Coast Guard member boarded the ship without permission.

The Coast Guard embarked on the vessel used by Greenpeace to protest against offshore drilling in the Arctic region after the activists launched inflatable boats with banners reading “Save the Arctic” near the oil exploration vessel Geolog Dmitry Nalivkin, currently under contract to Russian state-owned Rosneft and US oil giant ExxonMobil.

Greenpeace entered the Northern Sea Route on Saturday, in defiance of Russia’s attempt to ban the group’s icebreaker from entering the area.

“We’re in the Kara sea to expose what Rosneft, ExxonMobil and the Russian authorities are trying to hide from international scrutiny. We’re keeping an eye on an area of great natural beauty where independent observers are notably absent,”  said Christy Ferguson, Greenpeace Arctic Campaigner aboard the Arctic Sunrise.

“The Coast Guard warned us it would use force if necessary, including opening fire on the ship, if we would not leave,”  Greenpeace wrote on its twitter account.

A few minutes later, Greenpeace decided to leave the Kara Sea: “We have decided to leave the Kara Sea and the Northern Sea Route (NSR) under threat of force from the Russian Coast Guard.”

Offshore Energy Today Staff, August 26, 2013; Image: Greenpeace