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Greenpeace activists attempt to block Gazprom oil tanker from docking at Rotterdam

THE HAGUE, May 1 (Xinhua) -- More than a hundred Greenpeace activists tried to prevent Gazprom's oil tanker Mikhail Ulyanov from docking in the port of Rotterdam on Thursday.

The action was terminated by the police and the captain of the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior was arrested for not following police instructions. In addition, about 30 activists were arrested for surrounding the ship.

Greenpeace's action was part of their campaign against the unloading of Arctic oil by Gazprom, the Russiam oil and gas company.

The oil in the tanker, intended for French firm Total, came from the Prirazlomnya platform in the Pechora Sea.

In September last year, Greenpeace had held a demonstration at the platform after which their ship Arctic Sunrise was seized. Thirty activists, including Faiza Oulahsen and Mannes Ubels from the Netherlands, were then held for 100 days by Russian authorities.

Oulahsen, who was also present in Rotterdam Thursday, said on the Greenpeace website: "We see the North Pole melt before our own eyes. Governments and oil companies like Gazprom and Shell ignore this warning and consider the melting ice as an opportunity to drill more oil. Instead of facing the consequences of climate change, the oil companies go for short-term profit."

The Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs Henk Kamp stated on Thursday in a letter to parliament that there were no means to prohibit the transport of oil and exploitation in the Arctic region.

According to Kamp, that would be a breach of international law on the freedom of navigation on the high seas. However, the Dutch government strongly advocates an international code for safe and environmentally vulnerable shipping in the vulnerable seas.

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