Koenders satisfied with award of damages in Arctic Sunrise case

Foreign minister Bert Koenders has said he is satisfied with the final Award on Compensation by the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s tribunal in the case involving the Russian seizure of the Arctic Sunrise. The tribunal today announced that Russia must pay the Netherlands almost €5.4 million. It had previously ruled that Russia had acted unlawfully when in 2013 it seized the Greenpeace vessel and arrested its crew.

The Netherlands responded immediately to the tribunal's award of damages by asking Russia to pay the compensation it owes. ‘The rulings make clear that you can’t just board ships in international waters and arrest those on board,’ Mr Koenders said. ‘The Arctic Sunrise was exercising the right to demonstrate. The rulings contribute to the development of international law, particularly the law of the sea and freedom of expression.’

In 2015 the tribunal ruled that Russia had acted unlawfully and must pay damages, but it did not set the amount of the award until today.

Mr Koenders stressed that the award was legally binding: ‘Russia needs to respect this ruling and honour its terms.’ The damages that Russia owes the Netherlands will earn interest until they are paid.