Greenpeace activists “not pirates” but did break the law, says Putin

Many environmentalists are concerned over the impact of increasing commercialisation of the Arctic region. (Mariusz Kluzniak, Flickr)

Many environmentalists are concerned over the impact of increasing commercialisation of the Arctic region. (Mariusz Kluzniak, Flickr)

Broadcast on 25th Sept 2013 on VoR.

RADIO:

Russian President Vladimir Putin has told an international forum on Arctic exploration in the northern Russian city of Salekhard, that the Greenpeace activists arrested over a protest against oil drilling it was “obvious they’re not pirates,” but added that they had been trying to seize the rig and authorities had responded with due concern for security.

Nima Green reports on the Arctic conference for VoR.

Authorities on Wednesday put 30 arrested activists from the environmental group in pre-trial jails after questioning several campaigners over a protest against Arctic oil exploration, the group said.

“Our law enforcement authorities and border guards didn’t know who might be trying to seize the rig under the guise of Greenpeace activists,” Putin said in remarks televised by the state-run Rossiya 24 television.

The two day forum held in Salekhard in Russia’s far North, brought together leaders of Arctic countries, businesses, and scientists to discuss what the future environmental and legal challenges the region looks set to face.

The Arctic is predicted to boast natural resources in unparalleled quantities – including 20 per cent of world oil reserves, 30 per cent of natural gas reserves, plus fish, tin, gold and even platinum reserves.

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