Arctic Sunrise Arbitration (Netherlands v. Russia), PCA Case No. 2014-02, Award on Jurisdiction (November 7, 2014)
1. The Kingdom of the Netherlands (“the Netherlands”) is the claimant in the arbitration. It is represented by Professor Dr. Liesbeth Lijnzaad (Agent), Legal Advisor of the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Professor Dr. René Lefeber (Co-Agent), Deputy Legal Advisor of the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
2. The Russian Federation (“Russia”) is the respondent. Russia has not appointed agents or representatives in the proceedings.
3. The arbitration concerns actions taken by Russia against the Arctic Sunrise, a vessel flying the flag of the Netherlands, and persons on board the vessel. As recounted by the Netherlands, on 18 September 2013, Greenpeace International (Stichting Greenpeace Council) (“Greenpeace”), the charterer and operator of the Arctic Sunrise, used the vessel to stage a protest against the Russian offshore oil platform Prirazlomnaya, located in the Pechora Sea within the exclusive economic zone of Russia. On 19 September 2013, in response to the protest, the Arctic Sunrise was boarded and detained by Russian authorities. Subsequently, the Arctic Sunrise was towed to Murmansk (a Northern Russian port city) and detained there, in spite of requests from the Netherlands for its release. The persons on board were arrested, charged with criminal offences, and held in custody. They were released on bail in late November 2013 and were subsequently granted amnesty by decree of the Russian State Duma on 18 December 2013. The non-Russian nationals were permitted to leave Russia shortly thereafter. On 6 June 2014, the arrest of the Arctic Sunrise was lifted and, on 1 August 2014, the ship departed from Murmansk, arriving in Amsterdam on 9 August 2014.
4. The Netherlands claims that, in taking the actions described above against the Arctic Sunrise and the persons on board, Russia violated its obligations toward the Netherlands under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (“Convention”),1 the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,2 and customary international law. The Netherlands also claims that Russia has violated the Convention by failing to fully comply with the Order of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (“ITLOS”) prescribing provisional measures in the case, and by failing to participate in these arbitral proceedings. The Netherlands seeks, inter alia, a declaratory judgment confirming the wrongfulness of Russia’s conduct, a formal apology, and compensation for financial losses incurred as a result of Russia’s actions.