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MOSCOW, September 24. (Itar-Tass) – Russian authorities have opened a criminal case over Greenpeace activists trying to board the Prirazlomnaya oil platform, Vladimir Markin, representative of Russia’s Investigative Committee, told Itar-Tass.
“After conducting the pre-trial investigation, Russia’s North-West Federal District branch of the Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case based on part 3 of the article 227 of Russia’s Criminal Code – Piracy, conducted by an organized group,” Markin said.
Investigators plan to prosecute all activists of the organization who participated in the attack, regardless of their citizenship. “All investigative activity will be conducted with strict accordance to Russian legislation and international law,” the official emphasized.
"If a foreign ship has plenty of technical equipment on board purposes of which is unknown, and a group of persons, who proclaimed themselves to be representatives of the ecological rights organization, actually attempt to seize an oil platform by force, a logical question arises as to what their intentions really are. The question is quite justified because one can hardly believe that the so called "environmental activists" did not know that an oil derrick on board the platform is an object posing a particular threat, and that any unauthorized activity there is fraught with an accident,” Markin said.
"An accident if provoked might have posed a threat not only to the people who are working on the platform, but also to those who so ferociously defend the environment. Anyway, such activities not only infringe on the sovereignty of a state, but might pose a threat to the environmental security of whole region," Markin said.
The incident happened September 18. According to the investigation, “a group of individuals with ties to the ecological rights organization Greenpeace, tried to board the platform from the ‘Arctic Sunrise’ vessel. This even was prevented by border patrol. As the vessel was flying the flag of Netherlands, the country’s Foreign Ministry declared it would request an explanation from Russian authorities.” The watercraft was subsequently boarded by Russian law enforcements.