MOSCOW, December 29 (RIA Novosti) – All 26 non-Russian environmental activists who were detained over a September protest at an Arctic oil rig and recently pardoned by a presidential amnesty have left Russia, Greenpeace said Sunday.
Polish national Tomasz Dziemianczuk, 37, was the last Greenpeace activist who flew out of Russia Sunday, the group said in a statement. A total of 25 other foreign activists had all left by Saturday.
"I am very happy to be going home, but I don't feel the same for the ship and its future. I am emotionally connected to both the crew and the ship and for me the case will be over when the ship is back in Amsterdam," Greenpeace quoted Dziemianczuk as saying before leaving Russia.
"This was only a great beginning to our Arctic campaign," he added.
Greenpeace said its is calling on the Russia’s Investigative Committee to facilitate the return of the ship and the personal belongings of the Arctic 30 now that the criminal prosecution has been terminated.
Many of the activists began to leave Russia immediately after receiving travel documents on the 100th day since their initial detention.
The so-called Arctic 30, including four Russians, charged initially with piracy but later with hooliganism, were released on bail in November after being behind bars for over two months for protesting oil drilling in the environmentally sensitive Arctic region.
They were detained by Russian border guards after trying to climb onto an oil rig, owned by a subsidiary of Russia's state gas company Gazprom, in international waters within Russia's exclusive economic zone off the country's north coast.
Russian investigators dropped the cases against the activists en masse earlier this week as part of a broad prison amnesty granted by President Vladimir Putin to mark the 20th anniversary of the Russian Constitution.