As the Arctic 30 reach day 55 of their detention, pressure grows around the world for their release. Messages of support have flooded in via social media, email and snail mail. However, along with them a few questions: what is David Cameron doing? Should I lobby my MP? Why on earth are you targeting Shell? We’ve taken a sample of your questions and provided some answers.
What is being done to secure the release of the Arctic 30?
Political action is being taken around the world. In the UK as much is being done as possible, with continuing consular support to ensure the Arctic 30’s human rights are met. In a phone call with president Putin last week, David Cameron raised the issue of the Arctic 30. Indications were that this was a positive call. The MPs of the six British detainees have also been very active, and MP Chris Bryant called a debate in Westminster.
In addition, the Netherlands have launched a legal challenge, claiming Russia acted illegally when boarding a Dutch flag ship in international waters. The outcome of the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea is due on 22 November.
Should I be lobbying my MP?
Currently 52 MPs have pledged their support. You can ask your MP to sign the Early Daily Motion. This will help the issue stay on the political agenda. However our strongest card to play in the UK is to put pressure on Shell, who are poised to sign a major deal with Gazprom. It was Gazprom who called in the armed special forces, and they have the power to stop this.
Shell are never going to pull out of the deal with Gazprom, are they?
Investors are paying close attention to the situation with Gazprom, and they’re already twitchy. They’re acutely aware of the reputational risk of any association right now, and pulling out of the deal is a real possibility. If they did it would spell disaster for Gazprom. This is a unique moment and you have the power to influence it.
Why are you asking for Shell’s support?
Nobody is asking for their support. We’re shining a spotlight on their dodgy deal with Gazprom. Shell are desperately trying to disassociate themselves from the Arctic 30. In a recent press statement they said “we are 0.0% involved”. With your help we can show the world that if they go ahead with this deal they'll be 100% involved.
We are poised on the edge of a defining moment with Shell and Gazprom - together we can seize this opportunity and help free the Arctic 30.