Greenpeace International – 2013-11-10 22:58:44
(November 10, 2013) — When Greenpeace activists attempted to scale energy giant Gazprom’s oil rig on 18 September, the company made a call to Russian special forces to intervene. Twnety-four hours later, armed commandos had illegally boarded our ship, the Arctic Sunrise, and arrested all 30 people on board, reporting back to Gazprom that “assistance had been provided as requested.” All 30 people are now in prison facing trumped up hooliganism charges.
The silencing of peaceful protest in this way is outrageous. Gazprom clearly has influence with the authorities and it now must step up and help to release the Arctic 30. But it will only do that if it feels pressure from places where it is affected the most: its financial partners.
Gazprom is on the brink of signing an important deal with Shell, who have promised to provide technology and expertise to their Arctic drilling programme. Gazprom also depends on maintaining good relationships with the companies it sells its oil and gas to overseas, which make up a whopping 65% of Russia’s income from exports.
Shell may claim that it has no influence over Gazprom but that’s simply not true. It plans to invest millions in Gazprom’s Arctic drilling program, a much needed lifeline for the company which has so far failed to produce even a single drop of oil from its current operation. Gazprom can’t afford to risk this partnership and so it will listen to Shell if it speaks out.
It’s bad for Shell’s reputation, and its business, to be associated with a company that is involved in silencing peaceful protest. So let’s ask Shell, and Gazprom’s other partners, to put pressure on Gazprom to help free the Arctic 30.
Every week this gets a little bit harder to write — but the Arctic 30 have now been imprisoned for over seven weeks. That’s 50 days and nights of being locked in a cell, without access to their families and friends, deprived of their freedom.
Yet the company that has the power to help set them free — Shell — remains silent.
Demand Shell break its joint venture with Gazprom over the illegal detention of the Arctic 30.
Shell publicly claimed that it had “nothing to do with the events in Russia, zero point zero percent.” But that’s simply not true. Shell is directly involved with Russian energy giant Gazprom, which played a critical role in the arrest and detention of the Arctic 30.
The two companies are on the brink of signing an all-important deal. If this deal goes ahead, the two companies will embark on an Arctic oil rush that could be worth half a trillion dollars.
Shell risks being damaged by associating with a company that uses such brutal tactics to silence peaceful protests, especially when people around the world are supporting those activists. So let’s show Shell we won’t let them stand idly by while 30 people are imprisoned for a peaceful protest.
Tell Shell to put pressure on Gazprom to help free the Arctic 30.
Together we can stand up to Big Oil and show them that they cannot get away with the silencing of peaceful protest.
To Peter Voser, CEO of Shell and other partners of Gazprom
As a key corporate associate, we’re asking you to do everything in your power to pressure Gazprom to help free the Arctic 30. For Shell that means breaking the joint venture to drill in the Arctic. Gazprom played a critical role in the illegal arrest and detention of the Arctic 30 and as one of the country’s biggest oil companies, it has considerable influence in Russia. That means you do, too.
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