(Image courtesy of Greenpeace)

The Arctic Sunrise, an Amsterdam-registered ship belonging to environmental group Greenpeace, has been deployed to the Northern Sea Route to protest oil drilling by Rosneft.

But the Russian government blocked the ship on safety grounds, declaring that it will be unable to withstand the thick ice.

The Arctic Sunrise was headed to the Kara Sea, where Rosneft is conducting seismic tests for possible drilling near Russia’s Arctic National Park.

Russian authorities criticized Greenpeace, saying the organization was trying to violate international and Russian laws.

The Dutch Foreign Ministry said “according to the data the Netherlands have on the ship, there is no reason to doubt its technical” capability to make the Northern Sea Route journey.

But the Dutch also said countries that bordered the Arctic region had the right to determine safety standards for those waters.

The Hague is currently awaiting a response from Russia on how the ship could be made safe enough for the passage.


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