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Greenpeace campaign ship to be ready for departure from Russia Tuesday

July 21, 2014, 16:03 UTC+3 MURMANSK
After months without proper maintenance, the ship needed careful repair
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© EPA/KATE DAVISON

MURMANSK, July 21./ITAR-TASS/. Greenpeace's Dutch-flagged Arctic Sunrise ship, arrested by maritime border officials in last September's storming of a Russian Arctic oil installation, will leave for Amsterdam on Tuesday, Greenpeace-Russia spokeswoman Tatyana Vasilyeva told ITAR-TASS on Monday.

Vasilyeva said that the ship was technically ready to depart July 22, however, the ship was waiting for permitting documents to be issued. “She will be fully repaired there, and we hope that the Arctic Sunrise will be on guard of the Arctic again very soon.”

Crew led by captain Daniel Rizotti and insurance representatives have been working on the vessel in port at Murmansk in northern Russia since the end of June, where the ship had been held for almost ten months, the official said. After months without proper maintenance, the ship needed careful repair, she said.

“The vessel was in disorder,” the group said. “A large part of navigation equipment removed from the ship has not been returned to its owners yet.”

Twenty-eight activists and two freelance journalists were arrested by Russian authorities after they attempted to scale Gazprom’s Barents Sea installation.

They were seized by Russian security guards and their vessel was towed to the port of Murmansk. The protesters - nationals of 18 countries and four Russians - were initially taken into custody on charges of piracy, later downgraded to hooliganism.

After two months in a Russian jail, the activists were released on bail. In December last year, Russia formally dropped criminal charges against the crew, released under a Kremlin-backed amnesty. All 26 foreign activists had returned home by the end of last year.

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