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Greenpeace Head Seeks Putin Meeting

Greenpeace International Executive Director Kumi Naidoo
Greenpeace International Executive Director Kumi Naidoo
The head of Greenpeace International has written to Russian President Vladimir Putin asking him for a meeting following Russia's arrest of 30 activists from the enrivonmental group during a protest against Arctic oil drilling.

In a statement issued on October 9, Kumi Naidoo said he is ready to travel to Moscow at any moment to try to secure the release of the activists who are being held in the city of Murmansk.

"Given that our activists have been denied bail again today, I've written to President [Vladimir] Putin seeking an urgent meeting with him and offering to come to Russia and offering myself as a guarantor in exchange for the release on bail of the activists and to stay in Russia as long as the trial takes," Naidoo told Reuters.

"I recognize that there is risk in this given that I had participated in exactly the same action last year. However given the urgency that the United Nations has just called on us to act on climate change and the fact that we're running out of time -- this is a risk that we are prepared to take," he added.

The activists, including citizens of 18 countries, have been held since their ship, the "Arctic Sunrise," was seized by the Russian Coast Guard after two activists tried to scale a Gazprom offshore drilling platform on September 18.

Last week, they were charged with piracy and could face of up to 15 years in jail.

Human rights groups have called for their immediate release.

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with additional reporting by AFP and AP
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