Russia is reportedly preparing to move 30 Greenpeace activists from Murmansk to St. Petersburg following their arrest over a demonstration against Arctic drilling.
The reason for the transfer is unclear but it’s thought the legal system in the far-north city is struggling to provide enough translators.
They are facing up to seven years in prison but France’s Foreign Minister called for a humanitarian gesture during a meeting on Friday with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.
The detainees, including two journalists, are facing hooliganism charges for the September protest in which the activists tried to scale Russia’s first offshore Arctic oil rig.
Greenpeace supporters say the group should be freed because their demonstration was political.
But Moscow argues that the Greenpeace protest posed a threat to the security of personnel and environmental safety by disturbing the work of the platform.