All Arctic Sunrise crewmembers amnestied
The last crewmember of the Greenpeace vessel Arctic Sunrise, Italian citizen Cristian D'Alessandro, has received documents confirming that the criminal case opened against him has been dropped under Russia's amnesty law, Greenpeace said on its Twitter page on Thursday.
The notification procedure for D'Allesandro was earlier rescheduled for Thursday due to the absence of an interpreter.
It means that all the environmentalists detained in September for attempting to stage a protest against oil drilling in the Arctic off Gazprom's Prirazlomnaya oilrig have already been notified that the criminal prosecution against them was stopped.
"It is unknown when the criminal cases will actually be closed. I do not think that it will happen this year," Greenpeace lawyer Andrei Suchkov told Interfax.
All the applications requesting exit visas for the crew's foreign members have already been submitted and, hopefully, these visas will be granted on Thursday and Friday, according to Greenpeace.
It will be easier for the Arctic Sunrise crewmembers from Ukraine, Brazil, Turkey and Argentina to go home because their countries and Russia enjoy visa-free travel.
"In any case, all of them, even the Russians, will have to sort out the issue of getting an arrival stamp in their foreign travel passports. We are working on this issue now," Suchkov said.
Russian border guards detained 30 activists and crewmembers of the Arctic Sunrise on September 19, 2013, for an attempted protest against oil drilling at the Prirazlomnaya oilrig in the Pechora Sea. The environmentalists were brought to Murmansk, where a local court remanded them into custody for two months.
All of them were transferred to detention facilities in St. Petersburg on November 12. St. Petersburg courts released each of the defendants on 2-million-ruble ($60,500) bail.
The State Duma declared an amnesty on December 18 on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Russian constitution. The Arctic Sunrise crew and activists are eligible for the amnesty.
Russian migration service accepting visa applications from Arctic Sunrise crew
More than 20 foreign citizens from the crew of the Greenpeace vessel Arctic Sunrise have applied to the Russian Federal Migration Service for exit visas, a FMS spokesman told Interfax on December 26. Read more>>>