Greenpeace reacts to piracy accusations

By the Associated Press | September 21, 2013 | 11:34 AM EDT

In this image released by environmental organization Greenpeace, a Russian Coast guard officer, right, points a gun at a Greenpeace International activist, left in yellow uniform, as five activists attempt to climb the Prirazlomnaya, an oil platform operated by Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom platform in Russia's Pechora Sea, a section of the Barents Sea, Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013. Greenpeace said two of its activists have been arrested after climbing onto the oil platform in Russia's Arctic waters. The group claims warning shots were fired across the organization's ship. (AP Photo/Greenpeace, Denis Sinyakov) NO RESALE, NO ARCHIVE

MOSCOW (AP) — Greenpeace has dismissed suggestions by a Russian agency that its activists engaged in piracy while attempting to board an offshore drilling platform owned by state natural gas company Gazprom.

Greenpeace International's General Counsel Jasper Teulings said in a statement Saturday that the Russian Investigative Committee's announcement that it was formally considering charges of piracy for the group was not valid and "smacks of desperation."

Since the Greenpeace ship was stormed by Russia's Coast Guard in Arctic waters on Thursday, Greenpeace has been unable to reach it by phone. The activists remain aboard the vessel, which is being towed to the nearest port, Murmansk.

Russian Presidential Chief of Staff Sergei Ivanov told journalists in Stockholm on Saturday that Greenpeace had "acted too radically" and compared its protest to "Somalian-style piracy."