There have been calls in Australia by environmental activists for the release of two citizens who are being detained aboard a Greenpeace icebreaker in Russia.
A total of 27 people are being held on a Dutch registered vessel in the port of Murmansk and are accused of “aggressive and provocative” behaviour for attempting to get aboard an oil platform.
Speaking in Sydney, the Greenpeace Australia-Pacific Chief Executive Officer, David Ritter, said: “It’s very clear and very disappointing that the Russian consulate has declined to even accept a simple letter requesting that the Russian authorities release our activists, let an Australian lad come home, let an Australian permanent resident come back to Australia, give back our ship.”
The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has been seeking information from Moscow about the incident.
Greenpeace had been protesting against Gazprom’s plans to start oil production from the rig in the Barents Sea in 2014. The groups claims it will be a disaster for the Arctic region.