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Russia says will scrutinize resolution of int’l maritime tribunal

November 22, 2013, 20:51 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The tribunal ordered Russia to allow the vessel and those detained to leave the country
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MOSCOW, November 22, 20:40 /ITAR-TASS/. Russia will certainly scrutinize Friday’s resolution of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea regarding the Arctic Sunrise case and will formulate a stance on it, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

“We’d like to hope the tribunal tackled the case objectively and took account of all the aspects of the /September 18/ incident involving the ship /from aboard which a group of Greenpeace activists tried to get over to a Russian drilling platform - Itar-Tass/, including a failure of the flag state to honor its international legal obligations and encroachment by ship’s crew on the terms of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea in the field of navigation in the exclusive economic zone of a foreign state,” a spokesman for the ministry said.

September 18, The Arctic Sunrise approached a Russian oil drilling rig in the Pechora Sea carrying thirty people aboard, including a number of Greenpeace activists. The tried to get on to the platform from the ship but were detained by Russian maritime border guards.

When the scandalous action was aborted, the ship was towed to the port of Murmansk where all the thirty participants were arrested, initially on charges of sea piracy that were later redefined as hooliganism.

The activists were transported from Murmansk to St Petersburg earlier this month and local courts passed resolutions this week to release them on bail.

Friday, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea passed a ruling demanding that Russia release the ship flagged by the Netherlands and the thirty crewmembers on receipt of a 3.6 million bond from the Dutch authorities.

“The Russian Federation shall immediately release the vessel Arctic Sunrise and all persons who have been detained upon the posting of a bond or other financial security by the Netherlands,” said the tribunal’s resolution passed by nineteen arbiters under the presidency of Shunji Yanai from Japan.

The tribunal ordered Russia to allow the vessel and those detained to leave the country.

In the meantime, under the terms of the bail specified by the St Petersburg courts, all the Greenpeaceniks released from custody centers should stay in Russia, as charges with hooliganism have not been dropped against them so far.

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