MOSCOW, June 6 (RAPSI) – Russia’s Investigative Committee removed the seizure of Greenpeace vessel – the Arctic Sunrise – spent docked there following the participation of its crewmembers in an Arctic drilling protest, according to the Greenpeace website.
However, the hooliganism case wouldn’t be closed, the statement said.
The Arctic Sunrise ship was seized by Russian border guards on September 19 in international waters, within Russia's exclusive economic zone, a day after Greenpeace activists scaled the Prirazlomnaya drilling rig in the Pechora Sea, the southeastern part of the Barents Sea. 30 people were on board the vessel. All of them were detained and charged with piracy. Later the piracy charges were replaced with hooliganism charges. In November, all those who had been detained were released on bail.
In December, the activists were pardoned pursuant to a broad amnesty spearheaded by Russian President Vladimir Putin in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Russian constitution. The vessel remains docked in Russia. According to Greenpeace, the investigation has been extended until July 24.
The platform, owned by Gazprom Neft Shelf, a subsidiary of Russian energy giant Gazprom, is the first ice-resistant stationary oil platform in the world set to produce offshore Arctic oil.