24 Nov 2013

Russia unmoved by maritime tribunal ruling

1:28 pm on 24 November 2013

Russia remains unmoved by a United Nations tribunal ordering it to free a Greenpeace vessel and 30 people, arrested after a protest on an oil rig in the Arctic.

The Arctic Sunrise and its crew were detained on 19 September and all but one of those held has now been granted bail.

The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea ordered Russia to allow the crew to leave the country on receipt of a bond of 3.6 million euros.

The foreign ministry said it will study the ruling, but the tribunal has no jurisdiction over its prosecution.

However, Roda Verheyen, a Greenpeace lawyer in Germany, said the ruling is binding as Russia has ratified the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Dr Verheyen said Russia has until 2 December to report back to the tribunal.

The Arctic Sunrise was boarded by Coastguard officers after Greenpeace members scaled an oil platform in the Barents Sea on 18 September to protest against drilling by Gazprom. The icebreaker was towed to Murmansk.