“Russian Coast Guard is now illegally boarding our vessel without permission,” reads the last twitter message sent from the Greenpeace vessel on Monday around noon Moscow time.
“Arctic Sunrise” entered the Northern Sea Route off Russia’s Arctic coastline to protest against Arctic oil drilling, in defiance of Russian authorities who this week refused the ship permission to enter the area, says Greenpeace in a press-release sent to BarentsObserver.
The activists onboard says they were planning to engage in a peaceful protest against a Rosneft and ExxonMobil plan to drill for oil in the Kara Sea.
That protest might now remain a dream for Greenpeace as the Coast Guard now boarders the vessel. Greenpeace activists put a zodiac on water with a banner against oil drilling as the coast guard vessel approached.
“We refuse to let illegal attempts by the Russian government to stop us from exposing dangerous oil drilling in the Arctic. The Russian Arctic National Park is a special place full of rare and threatened Arctic wildlife, and faces an infinitely greater threat from reckless oil companies than a fully equipped Greenpeace icebreaker,” says Christy Ferguson, Greenpeace Arctic Campaigner aboard the Arctic Sunrise.