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Greenpeace reacts to piracy accusations after ship is detained in Russian arctic

This image made available by environmental organization Greenpeace and taken on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, shows five Greenpeace International activists before attempting to climb the Prirazlomnaya , an oil platform operated by Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom platform in Russia's Pechora Sea; to stop it becoming the first to produce oil from the ice-filled waters of the Arctic. From left to right: Sini Saarela, Camila Speziale, Phillip Ball, Tomasz Dziemianczuk and Marco Paolo Weber. The Russian Coast Guard is towing the Greenpeace ship, Arctic Sunrise, toward the nearest port after armed officers stormed it following a protest against oil drilling in Arctic waters. (AP Photo/Denis Sinyakov, Greenpeace) NO SALES, NO ARCHIVE

MOSCOW - Greenpeace has dismissed suggestions by a Russian agency that its activists engaged in piracy while attempting to board an offshore drilling platform owned by state natural gas company Gazprom.

Greenpeace International's General Counsel Jasper Teulings says the Russian Investigative Committee's announcement that it was formally considering charges of piracy for the group — which includes two Canadians — was not valid and "smacks of desperation."

Since the Greenpeace ship was stormed by Russia's Coast Guard in Arctic waters on Thursday, Greenpeace has been unable to reach it by phone.

The activists remain aboard the vessel, which is being towed to the nearest port, Murmansk.

Russian Presidential Chief of Staff Sergei Ivanov told journalists in Stockholm on Saturday that Greenpeace had "acted too radically" and compared its protest to "Somalian-style piracy."

Arctic Campaign Co-ordinator Christy Ferguson has said Paul Ruzycki of Port Colborne, Ont., and a man from Montreal whose name was not released, were arrested when Russian Coast Guard officers boarded their vessel, which Greenpeace says was in international waters.


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