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Future of Greenpeace Activists Uncertain

St. Petersburg is a beautiful city but wed like to be home with those who love us most.

Published: December 4, 2013 (Issue # 1789)

  • Photographers take photos of a TV screen showing Greenpeace activist Colin Russell during a court hearing on Nov. 29
    Photo: Dmitry Lovetsky / AP

The Greenpeace activists who were arrested following a protest in opposition to oil drilling in the Arctic are still unable to leave Russia, but their lawyers are working on the matter, said Anton Beneslavsky, one of the activists lawyers, at a press-conference in St. Petersburg on Nov. 29.

They cant leave Russia yet because the situation with the bail and the regulation of their legal status is not completely clear, Beneslavsky said.

It is not yet clear if their departure may be considered an attempt to flee prosecution, he said.

The investigators have not yet given the activists leave to depart Russia, Beneslavsky said. Currently the activists are in Russia on the basis of registration in their hotel. Its a temporary measure, he said. All foreign visitors to Russia are required to hold a valid visa both to enter and depart the country.

The situation is rather difficult because they were not arrested in Russia and were brought here without visas, Beneslavsky said.

We dont know how much time it will take to resolve this difficult legal situation that the Russians have created. Wed like the activists to have a chance to go home for Christmas at least, he said.

The ideal solution would be the dismissal of the unjust criminal case against the activists, then making visas for them and letting them go home, he added.

Another lawyer for the activists, Sergei Golubok, said on Monday that both the lawyers and the activists were confident that the foreigners would be allowed to leave Russia, Interfax reported.

Earlier, Russian authorities said the activists were free to travel, and could leave the Russian Federation, but that they would be able to do so only after the legal issues surrounding their presence in the country had been settled, Interfax reported.

Kieron Bryan, a freelance video journalist from the UK who was on board the Arctic Sunrise, said that all of the activists would like to go home for the time of the case.

St. Petersburg is a beautiful city but wed like to be home with those who love us most, Bryan said at the press conference.

After their release from pre-trial detention, some of the activists were called in to see the investigators.

Speaking to the investigators was a reminder that were still facing serious charges, Bryan said.

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Times Talk


Thursday, Apr. 24

Learn more about Denmark during the Danish Business Delegations visit to SPIBA this evening starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Danish Culture Institute. Danish Consul general Klaus Sorensen will be in attendance and the buffet following a presentation on Danish companies in Russia will be the perfect opportunity to network with the assembled businessmen.

AmChams Human Resources Committee Meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. this morning in their St. Petersburg office. Check their website for more details.

Friday, Apr. 25

Light Music presents the main events for their Cultural Kitchen project at Loft-Project Etagi today. A B2B event that focuses on Finnish food, arts, travel, music and design, the evening will conclude with a dinner by chef Jyrki Tsutsunen and dancing to music by Aino Venna. The event, which began yesterday with presentations by tourism and cultural institutions, concludes today with a preview of Finlands Flow festival and other musical events. Invitations are available from

Saturday, Apr. 26

At 6 p.m. this evening, stylist Liliana Modigliani offers 50 simple ways to up your style quotient with beauty tips at the Galeria shopping center on Ligovsky Prospekt. The event is part of the final day of the shopping malls Fashion Saturday sales event, this week focusing on top brands located on the ground floor as well as presentation from fashion experts on sprucing up your spring look.

Sunday, Apr. 27

Families shouldnt miss Childhood Planet 2014, the trade fair that started yesterday and concludes today at LenExpo. Not only will goods and services be provided for children and families but the event hopes to promote Russian brands and eco-friendly products using the latest technology available in the childcare industry.

Monday, Apr. 28

The Hotel Indigo will be the site of SPIBAs Acting Skills for HR and Other Managers master class this morning starting at 9 a.m. The event will begin with coffee before moving on to the class itself and conclude with a tour of the recently opened hotel. Confirm attendance by Apr. 24.

Tuesday, Apr. 29

Improve your English at the British Book Centers Interactive English Lesson tonight at 6 p.m. Students at pre-intermediate and intermediate levels are welcome discuss topics that are selected to help learners master the more difficult aspects of English grammar and vocabulary.