Greenpeace and Russia - level 3

Greenpeace and Russia - level 3

03-10-2013 06:00

A group of Greenpeace activists who were trying to board an oil rig in the Russian Arctic have been arrested.

25 protesters, including six Britons, were met with heavily armed Russian coastguards, who they say threatened them with knives and guns. The environmentalist group said the coastguards, who were also wearing balaclavas, stormed their ship, the Arctic Sunrise. The activists were trying to gain access to Gazprom Oil Rig which they believe is about to start drilling for oil but their protest ended shortly after the guards fired shots at them.

"We're here in the Russian Arctic taking action against the first Arctic oil platform to go into production which pose a huge threat to the fragile environment. Gazprom is known for its poor safety standards and we've seen Shell screw up in the Alaskan Arctic last year, and now these two reckless oil companies are teaming up. It's a disaster waiting to happen."

Moscow has accused the protesters of aggressive and provocative behaviour and summoned the Dutch ambassador to discuss the issue as Greenpeace is based in the Netherlands.

Difficult words: rig (oil platform), balaclava (piece of cloth that covers your head and neck), reckless (not caring about possible dangerous situations), accuse (say that you think that somebody did something wrong), summon (order somebody to come somewhere).

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