Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has called for stricter punishment for unauthorized attempts to enter the premises of energy facilities.
"Environmental concerns cannot be used as a cloak for illegal acts no matter what lofty considerations such acts are based on. They cannot manifest themselves in illegal methods or methods that are eventually unsafe for people and technological facilities," Medvedev told a conference in Astrakhan on Wednesday.
Oil and gas industry installations are high-risk facilities, and unauthorized access to them is dangerous, even if it just means cutting holes in pipelines in order to steal oil or gas, he argued.
He said that, earlier in the day, he approved rules on how the personnel of an energy facility must act if there has been unauthorized access or a threat of such access to the facility.
It has been reported that on September 19 a special unit of the Russian FSB border service stormed the Arctic Sunrise due to an attempt to hold a protest rally against oil drilling at the Prirazlomnaya platform in the Pechora Sea. The boat of environmental activists was towed to Murmansk on September 24.
The Arctic Sunrise had a multinational crew of 30 people from 19 countries onboard. All those onboard were placed under arrest until November 24 upon the ruling of Murmansk's Leninsky District Court.
So far charges have been brought against 14 out of 30 people aboard the Arctic Sea.
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