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Russia won't release seized Greenpeace ship

Nov. 23, 2013 at 11:12 AM   |   Comments

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- Russia Saturday refused to go along with an international court order to release a ship belonging to the environmental group Greenpeace.

A Kremlin official told reporters in St. Petersburg there would be no response to Friday's ruling by the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea that the Arctic Sunrise and its 30-member crew should be released on bond.

"We have no plans to participate in this process," said Sergei Ivanov, head of the Kremlin administration.

The Arctic Sunrise was detained by Russia in September for allegedly trying to take over an offshore oil platform in the Russian Arctic. The activists were protesting oil exploration in the pristine region.

Several of the activists have been released on bail.

The court ruling, setting bail at $4.8 million, was issued in Germany and was provisional, Russia's RIA Novosti news agency reported. The court has yet to rule on the legality of the seizure of the ship.

The Kremlin had said previously Russia did not recognize the court's authority even though Russia had ratified the Law of the Sea in 1997, RIA Novosti said.

Ivanov said the fate of the Arctic Sunrise would be settled within the Russian legal system.

"The question will be solved on a judicial, not political, plane based on Russian legislation, not someone's political wishes," he said.

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