Greek Tanker Stranded in Ice in Gulf of Finland

The Greek tanker Minerva Nounou, which is headed for Primorsk, where it is to pick up a 100-thousand-tonne cargo of oil, became stuck in ice in the Gulf of Finland again on Friday. The tanker was caught up about 20 kilometres southwest of Porkkala lighthouse. The nearest Russian icebreaker was 50 kilometres away and was not expected to reach the tanker until yesterday afternoon. The small Russian icebreaker clearing a channel for the tanker turned out not to be powerful enough and was forced to abandon its attempts to help. This was reported yesterday by the STT news agency.

On Friday around 15 Greenpeace activists chained themselves to the gates of the Russian Embassy in Helsinki in protest at the Russian authorities' decision to allow the tanker Minerva Nounou to sail through the Gulf of Finland. Dmitry Litvinov, one of Greenpeace's leaders, told Rosbalt that the tanker was not suitable for the conditions that have developed this winter in the eastern end of the Gulf of Finland, where the ice is up to 70 centimetres thick.