Arctic Sunrise captain back home - Greenpeace
Peter Willcox, the amnestied captain of the Greenpeace-operated Arctic Sunrise vessel, who was arrested along with other crewmembers for an attempt to stage protest at the Prirazlomnaya drilling rig in the Pechora Sea, has safely returned home.
"Capt. Peter Willcox of the @gp_sunrise, one of the #Arctic30, is safely back in the states with his wife," Greenpeace said on Twitter.
BBC reported on Friday that five amnestied Greenpeace activists had returned home.
Greenpeace also said on Twitter that two other activists, Sini Saarela and Marco Weber, had crossed the Russian-Finnish border.
Greenpeace Russia Program Director Ivan Blokov told Interfax on Friday that all foreigners from the Arctic Sunrise would leave Russia in the near future.
"Virtually all of them will go today or tomorrow. Maybe someone will leave the day after tomorrow," Blokov said.
Alexander Aksyonov, the head of the Russian Federal Migration Service's registration and passport department, had told Interfax earlier that the foreign crewmembers of the Arctic Sunrise would have no problems leaving Russia once they receive visas.
"If visas are received, there are no formal restrictions anymore," he said.
The Russian Coast Guard stopped the Arctic Sunrise in the Pechora Sea on September 19 after some environmentalists attempted to protest against oil extraction on the Prirazlomnaya drilling platform. The Arctic Sunrise was towed to Murmansk on September 24, and a local court imposed a two-month arrest on all of the 30 members of its international crew accused of disorderly conduct. On November 12, all these people were brought to St. Petersburg and placed in local detention centers. St. Petersburg courts later granted 2-million-ruble ($60,500) bail to all of the environmentalists.
The Russian State Duma declared amnesty on December 18 to mark the 20th anniversary of the Russian Constitution's adoption, which applies, among others, to the Arctic Sunrise crew.