Russia detained 29 Greenpeace activists protesting a Russian oil platform to prevent it from drilling in the Pechora Sea, a section of the Barents Sea, Greenpeace said in a statement.
The Russian Coast Guard boarded the Greenpeace International ship Arctic Sunrise, arresting the 29 activists on board including the captain following a protest against Gazprom’s Arctic oil drilling operations.
"Using a helicopter and ropes, armed Coast Guard officials boarded the vessel and started rounding up the activists, assembling them on the helideck. Greenpeace International activists locked inside the radio room said they saw other activists detained on their knees with guns pointed at them." Greenpeace said.
Noting that their vessel was in international waters at the time, Greenpace called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to release the detained activists.
Accusing the environmentalist group of "aggressive and provocative" behaviour, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Greenpeace activists scaled the side of the Gazprom-owned Prirazlomnaya platform on Wednesday, prompting warning shots and the arrest of the activists for actions threatening security.
"The intruders' actions were of an aggressive and provocative character and had the outward signs of extremist activity that can lead to people's deaths and other grave consequences," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.