PORT COLBORNE, Ont. -- Family of Paul Ruzycki, a Port Colborne, Ont., Greenpeace activist detained in Russia, has finally received word he is OK.
“The Department of Foreign Affairs called me and said a representative had been on the ship and met with Paul,” his sister Debbie Reid said from her Port Colborne home.
“Paul said he was being fed and taken care of, allowed to walk about the ship and no violence has been shown. He said he’s well.”
Ruzycki is chief mate aboard the Greenpeace vessel Arctic Sunrise, a 49-metre-long icebreaker class vessel, which was detained by Russian authorities last Thursday during a protest on the state-owned Gazprom oil rig Prirazlomnaya in the Pechora Sea.
Reid said her brother is waiting to see if or when charges will be laid against him and the crew.
“So far there’s been nothing.”
Russian investigators have opened a criminal case on suspicion of piracy, a crime punishable by up to 15 years in jail, against the 30 crew members from 18 nations. An unnamed Montreal woman is also on board on the vessel.
On Wednesday, President Vladimir Putin said the Greenpeace activists had violated international law when they tried to climb the oil platform, but signalled they should not face charges of piracy.
“It is absolutely evident that they are, of course, not pirates,” said Putin,
Russia is concerned protests could undermine efforts to draw foreign investment and tap rich Arctic resources.
“We welcome President Putin’s recognition that our activists are clearly not pirates and acted purely out of concern for the Arctic environment,” said Greenpeace International executive director Kumi Naidoo.
Reid said Greenpeace lawyers and officials from the Canadian consulate are with the ship.