An international tribunal has ordered Russia to pay EUR 5.39 million (USD 6.2 million) in damages to the Netherlands over the Greenpeace Arctic 30 dispute.
The ruling comes on the back of a lengthy arbitration dating back to the boarding, seizing and detention of the Greenpeace ship, Arctic Sunrise, by the Russian authorities in September 2013.
At the time, Greenpeace International (Stichting Greenpeace Council), the charterer and operator of the ship, used the vessel to stage a protest at the Russian offshore oil platform Prirazlomnaya, located in the Pechora Sea within the exclusive economic zone of Russia. In response to the protest, the authorities seized the ship and towed it to Murmansk.
The 30 men and women on board, known as the Arctic 30, spent two months in prison, first in the Arctic city of Murmansk and later in St Petersburg, before being released on bail and finally freed by an amnesty adopted by the Russian Duma in December 2013. The Arctic Sunrise itself was returned to Greenpeace after nine months at port in Murmansk.
Russia was held liable in August 2015 for the boarding, seizing and detention of the Arctic Sunrise and for subsequent measures taken against the vessel and the individuals on board.
“Throughout the case, the Russian government refused to participate at any stage of the legal proceedings or to pay its share of the legal costs set by the Tribunal. It is therefore not yet clear whether Russia will comply with today’s binding ruling to pay damages,” Greenpeace informed.
After a refit and refurbishment, the Arctic Sunrise set sail to campaign against exploratory oil drilling in the Barents Sea last week.