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Greenpeace to receive $3 million in settlement with Russia

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AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Greenpeace will receive 2.7 million euros ($3 million) from Russia under a settlement reached between the Dutch state and Moscow, the environmental group said on Friday.

The agreement should end years of legal battles following the seizure by Russian authorities of a Dutch-flagged Greenpeace vessel, the Arctic Sunrise, in 2013 and the arrest of 30 people aboard.

Russian agents captured the Arctic Sunrise in international waters after a protest against an oil platform. Those on board were detained in Russian prisons for months and released shortly before the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

On Friday, the Dutch Foreign Ministry said it had reached “a full and final settlement”, details of which were confidential.

Dutch Greenpeace activist Faiza Oulahsen, who was imprisoned in Russia for nearly three months in 2013, said the settlement was good news. “Justice has been done, now we can finally close this chapter,” Oulahsen told Reuters.

In July 2017, an international arbitration panel had ordered Moscow to pay the Netherlands more than 5 million euros (4.4 million pounds) in damages for the events in 2013. Russia did not recognise the tribunal’s findings.

Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok said in a letter to parliament that settling the dispute with Russia was important “because the Netherlands has successfully defended the importance of peaceful protest at sea, including in the Arctic”.

(Reporting by Anthony Deutsch and Bart Meijer; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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