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Court: Russia Must Compensate Dutch In Ship Seizure

An international arbitration court has ruled that Russia must compensate the Netherlands for seizing a ship used by the environmental organization Greenpeace in 2013.

The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) said on August 24 that it had "found that the Netherlands is entitled to compensation with interest for material damage" to the Dutch-flagged Arctic Sunrise and its crew.

It said the amount of compensation to be paid by Russia will be decided at a later date.

Russian authorities seized the ship in September 2013 during a protest against an offshore oil platform in Arctic waters.

The crew and journalists covering the action, a total of 30 people, were arrested and detained in Russian prisons for months.

They were released on bail shortly before the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders hailed the PCA's decision, saying it gave a guarantee to any ship sailing in international waters that it "cannot just be summarily boarded or its crew arrested."

Greenpeace lawyer Daniel Simons expressed hope that the ruling "deters other countries from similarly aggressive attempts to stifle dissent, either on land or at sea."

Based on reporting by AFP and AP