Greenpeace International organizers blasted Putin’s claims of wrong-doing. “Let’s be absolutely clear about this: the real threat to the Arctic comes not from Greenpeace International but from oil companies like Gazprom that are determined to ignore both science and good sense to drill in remote, frozen seas,” declared Ben Ayliffe, head of Greenpeace International’s Arctic oil campaign.
The Russian Arctic National Park—termed the ‘Pearl of the Arctic’—is an important habitat for narwhals, polar bears, and whales. The Russian government has allowed Rosneft and ExxonMobil to conduct exploratory drilling on 450,000 hectares of park land, in direct contradiction of federal laws that protect the park.
Experts say that the sear route near the park, controlled by Russia, is expected to be a key path for export of oil and gas extracted from the arctic.
The Arctic Sunrise is on a month-long journey in the arctic to expose this and other violations of Russian environmental laws.
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