Comment by the Information and Press Department of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the situation around the Arctic Sunrise


In connection with the arbitration action against Russia related to the Arctic Sunrise, on the 21 October the Netherlands turned to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in Hamburg, asking them to define provisional measures based on Article 290(5) of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982. This concerns measures to protect the interests of a party to a dispute, which are adopted before trial on the merits during the arbitration proceedings. The Dutch asked the Tribunal to make a decision to release the ship and its crew and to order the Russian party to stop any and all enforcement actions in connection with this incident.

When ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in 1997, the Russian Federation announced that it does not accept the dispute settlement procedures under this Convention, which lead to decisions that are binding on the parties in disputes regarding the implementation of sovereign rights and jurisdiction. We are implementing the same jurisdiction in our situation with the Arctic Sunrise. On the 18 September Greenpeace activists violated Russian law on our exclusive economic zone and coastal shelf with their actions against the Prirazlomnaya platform. A criminal investigation into this incident is currently ongoing.

On the basis of this, the Russian party informed the Netherlands and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea that it does not accept the arbitration procedure in the case concerning the Arctic Sunrise, and also that it does not intend to participate in the Tribunal proceedings connected to the issue of provisional measures. At the same time, Russia remains open for settlement of this situation.