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ST. PETERSBURG, December 18. /ITAR-TASS/. The international environmental organisation Greenpeace hopes that the defendants in the criminal case over an incident onboard the Russian offshore oil drilling rig Prirazlomnaya may leave the country before the New Year, as the latter come under the effect of the amnesty campaign that was launched in Russia on Wednesday, a representative of the organisation told Itar-Tass.
In her words, to leave Russia the foreigners from the ship Arctic Sunrise first should receive a court ruling that the criminal case is terminated against them. Greenpeace hopes that they will receive this document by Friday or Monday, he said, adding that after this ecological activists relieved of criminal responsibility will have to pass several visa procedures needed for the departure from Russia.
The Greenpeace representative added that the activists can refuse from amnesty and face the trial to obtain full acquittal. Each of them will take a decision on the issue personally, she said.
All 30 Greenpeace activists, including 26 foreigners, who are accommodated at a hotel in the city of St. Petersburg, are released on bail.
The ship Arctic Sunrise sailed to the Russian offshore oil drilling rig Prirazlomnaya in the Pechora Sea, Russian Arctic region, on September 18. Several activists onboard the ship tried to board the drilling rig, appealing to stop the drilling in the Arctic region. The Russian border guards curbed their illegal actions, after that the ship was towed to the Russian northern port of Murmansk. At first the detainees were accused of piracy, then the Russian Investigative Committee has changed the charge against them to hooliganism. All activists were arrested. Later the courts in St. Petersburg have mitigated the measure of restraint against them, including four Russians, replacing the keeping in custody to the bailout.