Dutch government finalises bank guarantee for release of Arctic 30

Press release - 29 November, 2013
Amsterdam, 29 November 2013 - The Dutch Foreign Ministry said today it has finalised a bank guarantee of 3.6 million euros in compliance with a binding ruling by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) ordering Russia to release the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise and the Arctic 30.

Jasper Teulings, General Counsel at Greenpeace International, said:

"The Netherlands has now fulfilled its part of the Tribunal's binding order and Russia is obligated to also comply by releasing the ship and the Arctic 30, as the Tribunal so ordered. The Tribunal has ordered both Russia and the Netherlands to report back on progress with their compliance by December 2. We at Greenpeace assume the Russian Federation will comply with the order.

"Greenpeace International will cover the costs associated with the issuing of the bank guarantee and will make sure that Dutch taxpayers are not affected by the Tribunal's order. Similarly, Greenpeace will compensate the Dutch government if the arbitral tribunal orders the Netherlands at a later date to pay reparations to Russia.

"However, the arbitral panel that will be tasked with resolving the dispute between the Netherlands and Russia will need to look at whether the criminal proceedings against the 30 could have been brought in the first place, as the Netherlands have argued that Russia had no right to board the vessel and prosecute the activists. Greenpeace is calling for all charges to be dropped and for Russia to let all 30 return home to their loved ones.”

In an opinion article (1), Donald Rothwell, Professor of International Law at the Australian National University, said:

"Russia cannot … pick and choose when it will and will not abide by the law of the sea. As a leading international citizen, it has a clear obligation to follow the Tribunal's ruling and release the Arctic Sunrise and its crew and to allow them to leave Russia. It should indicate its compliance with the Tribunal's orders as soon as possible."

Australian activist Colin Russell was today released from detention after a St Petersburg court granted his bail appeal on Thursday. He was the last of the Arctic 30 detainees to be freed from detention. Colin has now been reunited with his wife Christine and daughter Madeleine.

Notes:
1. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-11-29/rothwell-russia-must-respect-the-law-of-the-sea/5124950

Contact:
Greenpeace International press desk: +31 20 718 24 70 or
Greenpeace International picture desk: +31 20 718 24 71
Greenpeace International video desk: +31 20 718 24 72

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