Today about 13.00 a polar bear came to the Embassy of Norway in Moscow to call on Norway to stop Statoil's planned oil drilling activities in ice-covered Arctic, and in particular cancel it's dangerous cooperation with Rosneft.
The bear was mourning over his cubs that were all spotted with black oil. He demonstrated what will become to wild animals of the Arctic if the companies start drilling. The bear was holding a banner “Norway Stop Statoil, Save the Arctic!”
Many guests of the Embassy that came to celebrate the Constitution Day were sympathizing the bear and Greenpeace. Some of them already signed our petition to Prime Minister Stoltenberg! Even little children understood the danger of oil extraction in the Arctic. They took toy-bears home and promised to clean them.
Ambassador of Norway Knut Hauge came to meet the activists. “I’m glad to see Greenpeace here today. But we disagree with you. We see no contradiction between oil production in the Arctic and environmental issues”.
“Today is a national holiday in Norway, but animals of the Arctic have no reason to celebrate. Statoil voted against “No drilling in icy waters abroad” proposal at the recent annual shareholders’ meeting. In Norway drilling in ice-covered waters is not allowed due to the lack of experience and technologies. But in Russia environmental regulation is lax. In this country Statoil plans to drill for oil in the middle of drifting ice of the Barents Sea, jointly with Rosneft, a company that is the world champion in oil spills. There is no way to clean up oil spills in Arctic ice, and therefore any major spill would be disastrous. We’d like to stress that the nature at the Barents Sea is the common heritage of Russia and Norway, and double standards here are inexcusable”, – says Evgenia Belyakova, Greenpeace Russia Arctic campaigner.
The polar bear started his trip to fight for the Arctic on April 1st, when he reached the Kremlin in Moscow. He was supported by almost 70 000 citizens of Russia, Norway, Finland and othercountries. They sent letters to the Norwegian Prime Minister and the Statoil board urging to stop Statoil's planned drilling in ice-covered Arctic and cancel its cooperation with Rosneft.
However, Statoil defied all these reasons as well as the risks of a catastrophe in the Arctic. Still, we do hope, that Norway would give ear to the public opinion. We urge Norwegians to their government that double standards are inadmissible.