Greenpeace activists attempt Russia Artic oil rig raid

Greenpeace activists today launched an audacious attempt to board a Russian oil platform in a effort to prevent it drilling in the Arctic. Greenpeace released a series of pictures that showed two activists scaling the side of the giant Prirazlomnaya platform. Another picture shows Russian security forces boarding one of the group’s boats.

The Artic project is run by state-owned oil monopoly Gazprom, and is Russia’s first attempt at extracting oil from the Barents Sea. Greenpeace fervently opposes any oil exploration or extraction in the Artic circle, claiming it threatens a “unique and fragile” environment, BBC News reports.

The group said two of its activists were arrested and were being held on a Russian coastguard ship, and also claimed that the coastguard vessel had fired 11 shots across the main Greenpeace ship. Russian authorities refused comment on the Greenpeace claimed, although Russian media reported that Russian coastguards fired warning shots to prevent the activists from climbing an oil platform in the Barents Sea. Shots were also fired to stop the Greenpeace’s Arctic Sunrise vessel, which entered the Northern Sea Route without permission.

Prirazlomnaya is scheduled to begin production by the end of the year. It is thought that Russia’s economy and recent growth depends heavily on income from its huge oil and gas deposits. However, Greenpeace have maintained that “despite massive financing for Prirazlomnaya, it is not able to guarantee safe production of Arctic oil.”

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