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Putin announces first shipment of Arctic oil

Putin announces first shipment of Arctic oil from controversial platform

President Vladimir Putin announces first shipment of Arctic oil from controversial platform

Amsterdam, 18 April 2014 - Russian President Vladimir Putin today announced that state owned energy company Gazprom is ready to send the first ever shipment of oil from offshore Arctic waters to Europe.

In a telephone call with Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller - who was onboard the Prirazlomnaya platform in the Arctic’s Pechora sea - President Putin reportedly said that the shipment represents a “further expansion of Russia's presence in global energy markets”.

The platform was the subject of a high profile environmental protest in September last year, after which 28 Greenpeace activists and two freelance journalists known as the “Arctic 30” were imprisoned for over two months on charges of piracy and hooliganism.

Responding to the news of the first shipment, Greenpeace International Executive Director Kumi Naidoo said:

“This is a defining moment both for the Arctic and the rest of the world. Russia’s state owned energy companies are betting that the Arctic can provide a new source of power and profit for decades to come. International oil majors like Shell, ExxonMobil and Statoil are teaming up with them to exploit this fragile region and shore up their flagging reserves.

“If we do not stop this Arctic oil rush we risk not only the environment but our ability to shake off the power structures of the last century. This is not about turning from one source of fossil fuels to another. It is about speeding up the inevitable switch to clean technology while reducing the amount of energy we use overall. Never has the situation been so urgent or the solution so clear.”

“Greenpeace, alongside millions of our supporters, will continue to stand against any oil company that tries to drill in the melting Arctic ocean.”

The

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