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HELSINKI, September 29 (Itar-Tass) - Finland’s foreign ministry does not see any grounds, on which Greenpeace activists detained in the Murmansk region of Russia might be accused of piracy, Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja said Sunday.
He told a Finnish television channel there were absolutely no legal grounds for issuing sea piracy charges to the activists, who had tried to get on to a drilling platform in the Barents Sea a few days prior to that.
It is rather difficult to figure out the evidence on the basis of which a conclusion of this kind might have been drawn, he said.
Tuomioja said the Foreign Ministry would provide all the essential legal assistance to a woman with the Finnish passport, who was among the activists detained in Murmansk. Finnish diplomats would monitor the full observance of the woman’s rights, he said.
September 18, the icebreaker Arctic Sunrise waving the Dutch flag approached the Russian drilling platform Prirazlomnaya, currently drilling a well on the continental shelf off the shore of the Murmansk region. Greenpeace activists tried climb on to the platform from aboard the icebreaker but their action was aborted by the border guards of Russia’s Federal Security Service /FSB/, after which the ship was towed to Murmansk.
A criminal case citing the piracy clause of the Russian Criminal Code was instituted and 22 of the thirty detainees were placed under arrest.
A court in Murmansk authorized the group members’ arrest for two months.