Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Questions (51)

Clare Daly

Question:

51. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will request the Russian Government to free the Greenpeace activists who were charged with piracy as a result of their involvement in peaceful protest. [42539/13]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

I am aware that a group of thirty activists affiliated with Greenpeace entered a Gazprom platform off the Russian coast on 18 September and were subsequently detained by the Russian authorities. All have now been charged with the serious crime of piracy. While there are no Irish citizens involved, the situation has been monitored by my Department and the Irish Embassy in Moscow. We are not in a position to say whether the actions undertaken by Greenpeace were merely a case of illegal entry or if any risks to the safety or operation of the rig were involved. However, I would urge the Russian authorities to respond in a proportionate way to any breach of the law which I hope can lead to a rapid release of those involved. In that connection, I note statements reportedly made by President Putin to the effect that he does not personally consider the incident to be an act of piracy. I would also call on the Russian authorities to ensure that the activists receive the legal and consular assistance to which they are entitled.