The Dutch-flagged vessel Arctic Sunrise has been accused by the Russian transportation ministry for violating Russian and international law. The icebreaker was not close to any military or border guard vessels but was forbidden to enter the Northern Sea Route with the reason for thick ice.
Russia had stopped the Greenpeace's vessel over concerns about its ability to withstand thick ice. Greenpeace did not like this move and accused Russia of trying to stop the protest against Arctic oil drilling.
Russian Federation plans to use Arctic resources with the company Rosneft together with its US partner ExxonMobil. There are plans to drill near the Russian Arctic National Park.
It is said:
"The transportation ministry sent a letter to the foreign ministry with a request to get in touch with The Netherlands' maritime authorities with the aim of influencing the owner of the vessel on behalf of the flag state. By being in the Northern Sea Route waters the vessel presents a serious threat to the environment."
The Russian foreign ministry did not take measures immediately. Greenpeace is trying to motivate the Dutch government to help the campaign against oil drilling in the Arctic.
It is known that over 400 vessels had the permission to pass through the Northern Sea Route this year. The Russian Arctic National Park was created in 2009 for species in danger such as the bowhead whale, and it is a major breeding ground for polar bears.
Russian Government said that the offshore operations are absolutely safe. The technologies used for the Arctic project will not harm the environment.
Russia and the United States believe that global warming will give a chance oil and gas resource in the Arctic to be exploited.
Photo: © Greenpeace/Steve Morgan