Accessibility links

Court Orders Russia To Pay Dutch 6.25 Million Dollars In Damages Over Greenpeace Ship


Russian Federal Security Service agents captured the Arctic Sunrise in international waters in September 2013 after a protest against an oil platform. (file photo)

Russia must pay 5.4 million euros ($6.25 million) in damages to the Netherlands for the 2013 seizure of Greenpeace's Arctic Sunrise ship during an oil drilling protest, an international arbitration panel ruled on July 18.

Russian Federal Security Service agents captured the Arctic Sunrise in international waters in September 2013 after a protest against an oil platform. Those on board were detained in Russian prisons for months and released in November 2013.

The five-member arbitration panel, based in Vienna, ruled in 2015 that Russia was liable under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and has now announced the amount representing damages to the ship, as well as the wrongful arrest and suffering of 30 people aboard.

"This decision makes clear that ships in international waters cannot be forcibly boarded and those aboard arrested at a whim," Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders said in a statement.

Russia refused to participate in arbitration, arguing that it was acting within its sovereign rights to seize the ship in an area of international waters where Russia enjoys exclusive economic rights. Activists had earlier tried to scale the Prirazlomnaya drilling platform, operated by Gazprom.

The arbitration panel found it had jurisdiction under UNCLOS, which Russia is party to and which empowers it to resolve such disputes. Moscow was not immediately available for comment.

Russia's state-operated RIA Novosti news agency reported that Moscow would review the decision but cited unnamed sources at the Foreign Ministry saying it still rejected the tribunal's jurisdiction.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP
XS
SM
MD
LG