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Crew of Arctic Sea released after nearly two weeks

Prime Minsiter Vanhanen to ask Putin about investigation on Tuesday


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The Russian security service released the crew of the Arctic Sea in Moscow on Sunday.
      The 11 members of the crew of the hijacked ship were flown from Cape Verde to Russia nearly two weeks ago.
     
The Russian news agency Interfax reports that the men returned to their home town of Archangelsk, where they were met by their families.
      On Sunday, Russian authorities gave conflicting accounts of whether or not all of the crew would be released.
      The online portal life.ru reported that only nine members of the crew had been released.
      Rabbe von Hertzen of the Finnish National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said that no information had come to Finland during the weekend about the release of the crew.
     
Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen (Centre) described the hijacking on Sunday as a confused situation. He was speaking on a monthly radio interview programme of the Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE).
      The motives behind the hijacking remained confused. Vanhanen says that he will discuss the matter with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin when the two meet on Tuesday.
     
The investigation into the hijacking is made more complicated by the fact that the ship flies under the Maltese flag, the shipping line is Finnish, but is under Russian ownership, the entire crew are Russian, and the hijackers are apparently from the Baltic countries.
      The crew and the hijackers are nevertheless being interrogated in Russia, whose navy captured the hijackers near Cape Verde on August 17th.
      The Arctic Sea was hijacked in Swedish waters in late July.
      Many rumours still circulate around the motives for the hijacking, the reasons for the massive Russian response, and the possible additional cargo - in addition to Finnish timber - that might have been on board the vessel.


Previously in HS International Edition:
  Russia giving out little information on Arctic Sea mystery (25.8.2009)
  Arctic Sea: Freed Russian seamen questioned in remand prison (21.8.2009)
  Location of "hijacked" Arctic Sea freighter a mystery (7.8.2009)
  Rumours circulate in Russia on whereabouts of Arctic Sea crew (27.8.2009)

Helsingin Sanomat


  31.8.2009 - TODAY
 Crew of Arctic Sea released after nearly two weeks

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