|Greenpeace campaigners Dimitry Litvinov and Arctic Sunrise skipper
Peter Willcox (right) |
outside a St Petersburg immigration office. Photo: Moscow Times
AS THE last Greenpeace activist detained in the Arctic 30 protest received notification today that he was cleared of all charges under a recently passed amnesty, several other international activists who had already been granted amnesty have received permission to leave Russia.
The news marks the end of a saga that has seen activists of 19 different nationalities spend several weeks in Russian detention despite an international outcry over the case and Western demands to release the suspects.
Twenty-eight Greenpeace activists, as well as a Russian photographer and a British videographer, were charged with "piracy" - which was later changed to "hooliganism" - for staging a protest against oil drilling at Gazprom's Prirazlomnaya oil platform in the Barents Sea in September.
As of today, seven members of the group had been granted visas from the Federal Migration Service, while others expected to receive their visas by the end of the week.
Activists from countries that share a visa-free regime with Russia - Ukraine, Brazil, Turkey and Argentina - were allowed to leave the country immediately.