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Greenpeace reacts to piracy accusations

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September 21, 2013 11:01 AM EST | AP

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MOSCOW — 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."