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7 Greenpeace Activists Allowed to Leave Russia

Published: December 27, 2013 (Issue # 1792)

  • Arctic Sunrise crew members Anthony Perrett from Wales, was the first to receive a visa from the Federal Migration Service allowing him to leave the country.
    Photo: Dmitry Lovetsky / AP

As the last Greenpeace activist detained in the Arctic 30 protest received notification Thursday that he was cleared of all charges under a recently passed amnesty, several other international activists who had already been granted amnesty received permission to leave Russia.

The news marks the end of a saga that has seen activists of 19 different nationalities spend several weeks in Russian detention despite an international outcry over the case and Western demands to release the suspects.

Twenty-eight Greenpeace activists, as well as a Russian photographer and a British videographer, were charged with piracy — which was later changed to hooliganism — for staging a protest against oil drilling at Gazprom's Prirazlomnaya oil platform in the Barents Sea in September.

As of Thursday, seven members of the group had been granted visas from the Federal Migration Service, while others expected to receive their visas by the end of the week. Activists from countries that share a visa-free regime with Russia – Ukraine, Brazil, Turkey and Argentina – were allowed to leave the country immediately.

Greenpeace said it expected the case against the Arctic 30 to be closed and vowed to continue its campaign against oil drilling in the Arctic.

“We will not abandon our program in the Arctic. The story in the Barents sea will be taken into account. We are thinking about what the best way to continue our protest is – whether to keep it as tough as it was before or to choose a more moderate way. But the risk zone is clear for us now, people are of primary importance,” Vladimir Chuprov, head of the Energy program at Greenpeace Russia, said by phone.

“We have already sent four requests to the Prosecutor General's Office after Gazprom started drilling last week, and this is just the beginning,” he said.

One of the Arctic Sunrise crew members, Anthony Perrett from Wales, who was the first on Thursday to receive a visa from the Federal Migration Service allowing him to leave the country, told BBC Radio Wales earlier this week that he intended to carry on the campaign but would never do anything in Russia again.

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Times Talk


Friday, Apr. 18

Teachers and students alike shouldn’t miss the opportunity to establish lasting contacts with Russian and foreign institutions during the 21st Education and Career Fair at LenExpo, beginning today and finishing tomorrow. Learn more about education in Russia and connect with your fellow scholars.

The Tromso International Film Festival, Norway’s largest, brings a short festival to St. Petersburg for one day only during Scandinavian Oddities, starting at 7 p.m. today at Rodina Cinema Center. Tickets for the event are 100 rubles ($2.80).

Sunday, Apr. 20

Celebrate Easter at Pavlovsk during the Easter Fair that begins today and continues through next Sunday. Visitors will have the chance to paint Easter eggs and children can take part in games as well as help decorate a tree in honor of Christianity’s holiest day.

Today is one of the final days to see the exhibit Cacti — Children of the Sun at the Peter the Great Botanical Garden. Starting Apr. 17, budding botanists will marvel at the variety and beauty of the desert’s most iconic plant.

Monday, Apr. 21

Improve your grasp of Neruda, Bolano and Marquez at TrueDA’s Beginners Spanish Lesson this evening at their location on the Petrograd Side. An experienced teacher will be on hand to help all attendees better understand the intricacies of the language and improve their accent.

Tuesday, Apr. 22

SPIBA’s Breakfast with the Director event series continues as the association welcomes Andrei Barannikov, general director of SPN Communications, to the Anna Pavlova Hall of the Angleterre Hotel this morning at 9 a.m. Attendees must confirm their participation by Apr. 21.

The AmCham Environment, Health and Safety Committee Meeting is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. this morning in the their St. Petersburg office.