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Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise has arrived in Beverwijk, near Amsterdam in the Netherlands, after being held in captivity in Russia for nearly a year.

The ship was released by the Russian authorities on 1 August.

Dubbed Arctic 30, the vessel along with its 30 campaigners and journalists had been held illegally since September 2013, when two of the campaigners boarded a Gazprom’s Prirazlomnaya oil rig to protest against its oil drilling plans in the Arctic.

"The companies and governments who seek to exploit this vulnerable region for profit have tried to silence the growing call to protect the Arctic for future generations. But they have not succeeded."

Dutch climate and energy campaigner Faiza Oulahsen, who was among the arrested campaigners, said: "This is a joyous day for me, for my friends and for the millions of people around the world who campaigned for the release of the Arctic 30 and the Arctic Sunrise.

"The companies and governments who seek to exploit this vulnerable region for profit have tried to silence the growing call to protect the Arctic for future generations. But they have not succeeded. And they will not. The Arctic Sunrise will sail again. By now more than five million people worldwide have spoken out for Arctic protection."

Although the Greenpeace crew, led by captain Daniel Rizzotti, performed repairs for more than a month to make the vessel seaworthy, the ship still requires major work, claimed the company.

Arctic Sunrise will now move to a shipyard in Amsterdam, along with a fleet of Greenpeace supporters in small vessels, to assess the ships’ damage and carry out the necessary repairs.

Greenpeace aims to establish the extent of damages to the ship within two weeks.


Image: The Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise in the Northern Sea Route (NSR) off Russia’s coastline. Photo: courtesy of Will Rose / Greenpeace.