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New Zealand Greenpeace Activists Protest Outside Russian Embassy

Environmental activists are picketing Monday outside New Zealand's Russian Embassy in support of Greenpeace activists detained by Russian border patrol in the Arctic's Pechora Sea.

Around 15 protestors gathered in support of detained members of the ship, the Arctic Sunrise, which was commandeered on Thursday while staging a protest against Russian oil drilling, The New Zealand Herald reported.

Protesters wearing red t-shirts with slogans supporting the detained environmental activists delivered an ice sculpture saying "Free Arctic 30" to the Russian Embassy in Wellington.

Simon Boxer, the protest's organizer, said the embassy had stopped responding to their phone calls and letters. He stressed that two nationals of New Zealand had been among the detained Greenpeace activists and criticized the ship's seizure in neutral waters.

Greenpeace has staged similar protests outside the Russian embassy in Mexico City as well as outside the Russian ambassador to the U.S.'s residence in Washington.

Russian authorities said earlier that members of the Arctic Sunrise's crew, who reportedly tried to board a Gazprom oil platform, created a deliberate provocation and could face piracy charges. Border security forces are currently escorting the ship to Murmansk while the Investigative Committee studies the cases of the detained environmental activists.

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