The Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise entered the Northern Sea Route off western Siberia Saturday to protest what it calls high-risk oil drilling in the pristine region. On Monday, the Russian Coast Guard boarded the Sunrise without permission, reported Greenpeace, for a mandatory inspection.
The group had launched inflatable boats carrying the slogan “Save the Arctic” near the Russian oil exploration ship Geolog Dmitry Nalivkin. The ship is under contract in a joint venture between Russian state-owned Rosneft and the American company ExxonMobil.
Christy Ferguson, Greenpeace Arctic campaigner aboard the Arctic Sunrise, said in a press release: “We’re here on behalf of three and a half million people who want to expose the truth behind reckless Arctic oil drilling, and yet the Russian authorities have tried to block us at every turn. Our protest is entirely safe and peaceful, while oil exploration poses a huge threat to wildlife and the fragile Arctic environment.”