Greenpeace activists are no pirates, but they broke the law - Putin

Russia's President Vladimir Putin spoke at the 3rd Arctic Forum in Salekhard.

SALEKHARD: Commenting on the situation with Greenpace’s protest against Gazprom’s platform “Prirazlomnaya” and the following boarding of the vessel by FSB, President Vladimir Putin supports the arrest of the crew.


«It would not be very correct if I kept quiet about the incident on our platform “Prirazlomnaya”, I’m talking about the attempt to take over this platform by the organization Greenpeace”, Putin said in his concluding speech of a plenary session at the Arctic Forum in Salekhard.

“Everybody is talking about it and media is writing about it”.

BarentsObserver was allowed into the filled to capacity hall at the Congress center in Salekhard when the Russian President gave his 20 minutes speech.

As BarentsObserver reported, the international crew aboard Greenpeace’s vessel “Arctic Sunrise” has been taken to Murmansk and charged for piracy after they tried to stop Gazprom’s platform from starting drilling in the Pechora Sea.

Putin said that it would be better if somebody from the organization were sitting in the congress hall and could express their views on the problems up for discussion at the forum, to express their demands and concerns.

“I don’t know what really happened [at Prirazlomnaya], but it is obvious that they are not pirates. But formally they tried to take over the platform”, Putin said. According to the President, the situation in the Pechora Sea could have been rather hard to understand: “Our law enforcement organs, our border guards did not understand who were trying to take over the platform, pretending to be Greenpeace. On the background of what recently happened in Kenya, it could have been anyone”. But it is totally clear that these people were violating international law when they approached the platform, breaking the safety distance.

“Anything could have happened, like an operator error or a technical malfunction”, he said “There was a danger to lives and people’s health. Are such PR stunts really worth the possibilities of serious consequences?” Putin asked.

Putin underlined that Russia is prepared to cooperate with all types of partners, includingenvironmental organizations, but the cooperation has to be built on a civilized basis.