Authorities prevent starting Volgo-Baltic expedition Greenpeace

Feature story - 13 May, 2010
Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation – Volgo-Baltic expedition Greenpeace scheduled on this morning still hasn’t started because of the obstacles from Russian River Register. The Boat “Beluga II” completely ready for sailing continues standing on the English embankment.

Beluga II

On yesterday evening a representative of Russian River Register who had to examine the vessel for compliance with the rules of passing vessels on inland waters of the Russian Federation came to the embankment. The inspector didn't contact with the captain, didn't came on boat, didn't read the documents nevertheless he made a decision that the boat didn't meet all the necessary requirements. However, the official said that the shipowner might apply to the specialized commercial organization, which for a fee could quickly resolve these issues and bring the ship into compliance with current regulations. And the statement of facts wasn't drawn up. Neither the team nor the ship owner were not given any information about the specific inconsistencies.

Today, at the urging of Greenpeace, the examiner came to the boat again and examined it according to the rules. However he again refused to approve sailing promised to provide "an act of non-compliance", which until now has not been received. Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation - Volgo-Baltic expedition Greenpeace scheduled on this morning still hasn't started because of the obstacles from Russian River Register. The Boat "Beluga II" completely ready for sailing continues standing on the English embankment.

The boat "Beluga II" regularly walks on the rivers and seas of Europe, enters the ports of different countries and meets all the international standards, has all the certificates and equipment for safe walking on rivers and sees. The crew of the Beluga II is dealing with such a problem for the first time.

"All this show that the officials are deliberately preventing the expedition as there isn't any reason for banning movement of the boat which has all the necessary equipment and the certificates required by the international rules. Compare to the other vessels regularly plying on the Saint Petersburg water, "Beluga II" is in perfect technical conditions and meets the highest safety standards" - convinced Dmitry Artamonov, the head of the St. Petersburg branch of Greenpeace.

Greenpeace intends to apply to apply to the Public Prosecutor of St. Petersburg due to the illegal actions of representatives of the Russian River Register.

Earlier a statement of the Public Council at the Federal Agency of sea and river transport appeared in the mass media. The statement says that according to the order of passage of foreign non-commercial pleasure and sporting boats on inland waterways of the North-West and the White Sea-Onega basins of Russia, foreign vessels are prohibited from conducting business, missionary, fishing and research activities. However, the effect of this order applies only to vessels of not more than 20 meters, for which there is a simplified procedure for walking on the territorial waters of Russia. "Beluga II" isn't such a boat so to passes through the Volga-Baltic way a special order of the Government of the Russian Federation was issued.

Recall that this morning Greenpeace boat "Beluga II» had to go to the Volga-Baltic expedition. The purpose of the expedition is to determine the degree of contamination of Russian rivers in the part of its waterway and get the authorities to ban the dumping untreated industrial effluents into the river, including, through the sewerage system.

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