Shipment courier

Greenpeace protesters block Russian coal shipment to Helsinki

Greenpeace activists scale the fence of a coal terminal in the port of Helsinki (Greenpeace Suomi)

Posted on April 5, 2022 at 6:07 p.m. by

The Maritime Executive

Greenpeace activists have targeted Russian energy shipments at ports in Europe since the start of the invasion of Ukraine, and the group’s Finnish affiliate is expanding the direct action campaign to cover coal shipments.

On Tuesday morning, 10 Greenpeace activists scaled a fence at the Salmisaari coal terminal in Helsinki, hoping to prevent the bulk carrier from unloading Transbaltic. The Maltese-flagged freighter had been loaded with coal on Sunday in Ust-Luga, Russia, in the Gulf of Finland.

To block delivery, protesters climbed onto three of the terminal’s unloading hoppers, briefly halting most cargo operations. Helsinki Fire Brigade and local police responded to the scene and used a hook and ladder truck to retrieve protesters from their positions. Nine people were arrested around 9 a.m. that morning, according to Helsinki police.

Images courtesy of Greenpeace Suomi

Finnish utility Helen operates the terminal and has pledged to stop buying Russian coal shipments. However, he still intends to accept delivery of previously contracted cargoes that were arranged before the invasion. Greenpeace calls on all EU countries to immediately stop importing Russian fossil fuels.

“EU countries are funding Russia to launch an offensive war with billions of euros every week. I wonder what else needs to happen in Ukraine to end it,” said the Greenpeace spokesperson, Matti Liimatainen. “Despite [Helen’s] promise, financing Putin’s military machinery through the purchase of Russian fossil fuels will continue.”

In Finland and elsewhere in the EU, the purchase of Russian oil and gas is likely to continue for the foreseeable future, but Russian coal may soon be banned. On Tuesday, the European Commission incorporated a proposed ban on buying Russian coal into a package of new sanctions. If implemented, the ban would reduce annual sales by about $4.3 billion for Russian coal exporters.