December 19. /ITAR-TASS/. "I have a positive attitude to all who protect nature, but I am negative to people who take advantage of environmental protection in order to stage their own PR acts and get personal gain," Putin told the press conference.
"Regrettably, the ecological activities are often used for unseemly purposes of blackmail, squeezing money out of companies. All that fuss made around the Greenpeace act undertaken near the oil development platform on the Russian shelf had been provoked by people who violated the respective law. The reasons behind that were either plans to put pressure on the company to get some gain from it or prevent Russia from developing the shelf, acting on someone's order," Putin said.
On September 18 activists of the Greenpeace international environmental organization attempted to disembark onto the Russian oil development platform "Prirazlomnaya" from the Arctic Sunrise icebreaker.
A total of 30 people from 19 countries, including Russia, were detained, and the ship was towed to Murmansk.
In October, the Murmansk court brought piracy charges against all the Greenpeace activists who took part in the illegal act, but later the charges of piracy were changed into an act of hooliganism. In November. all the defendants from the Arctic Sunrise were brought to St.Petersburg; in the end of November all of them were released on bail.
In December, lawyers for the Greenpeace activists appealed to the Investigative Committee, asking for Russian visas for their clients to enable them to leave Russia.