20:35 GMT +318 November 2019
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    Russia Monitors Situation With Russian Environmental Activist in Norway

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    Russia's consulate general in Kirkenes, Norway, was following the situation around the detention of Russian environmental activist Tatiana Vasilyeva by the Norwegian authorities during the protest against oil drilling in the Arctic, Russia's Consul General in Norway Igor Lapitsky told Sputnik on Friday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Earlier in the day, Greenpeace Russia said that the Norwegian Coast Guard had detained Vasilyeva during the protest in the Barents Sea.

    "We called [Vasilyeva’s] Russian telephone number, but it was not operational in Norway. As far as we know, [the detainees] are now en route to the Tromso port on board the vessel," Lapitsky noted.

    The diplomatic mission had not received any clarification on the situation neither from the Norwegian authorities nor from Vasilyeva, Lapitsky said, adding that according to Greenpeace Russia, Vasilyeva was not the organization’s employee anymore and she had engaged in the protest by her own choice.

    The consul general specified that Greenpeace Norway had already engaged in resolving the situation and he expressed readiness to support Vasilyeva if the environmentalist would contact the diplomatic mission.

    Greenpeace said in a statement on Thursday that as part of the protest against oil extraction in the Arctic area, 35 environmental activists had approached Norwegian Statoil's oil rig in the Barents sea on dinghies holding hand banners.

    Oslo licensed state-owned Statoil for oil extraction in Korpfjell in June 2016, thus opening the first oil drilling site in two decades. According to Greenpeace, a Norwegian court will hear a lawsuit in November filed by the NGO against the Norwegian government. The environmentalists are claiming that licensing new oil extraction sites in the Arctic violate the country's constitution.

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    drilling, environment, activist, Norway, Russia
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