Gazprom Headquarters in Moscow
|Industry||Oil and gas|
|Viktor Zubkov (Chairman)
Alexey Miller (CEO)
|Services||Gas pipeline transport|
|Revenue||$91.1 billion (2016)|
|$10.8 billion (2016)|
|$14.9 billion (2016)|
|Total assets||$252 billion (2016)|
|Total equity||$171 billion (2016)|
|Owner||Russian Government (50.23%)|
Number of employees
|462,400 (2015) |
|Subsidiaries||List of subsidiaries|
Public Joint Stock Company Gazprom (Russian: Публичное Акционерное Общество «Газпром», Publichnoe Aktsionernoe Obshchestvo Gazprom, abbreviated PAO Gazprom, Russian: ПАО «Газпром», IPA: [ɡɐsˈprom]) is a large Russian company founded in 1989, which carries on the business of extraction, production, transport, and sale of natural gas. The company is majority owned by the Government of Russia, though technically private. Its name is a portmanteau of the Russian words Gazovaya Promyshlennost (Russian: газовая промышленность - gas industry). The headquarters of Gazprom are in Moscow.
Gazprom was created in 1989 when the Soviet Ministry of Gas Industry was converted to a corporation, retaining all of its assets. Gazprom is involved in the Russian Government's diplomatic efforts, setting of gas prices, and access to pipelines.
Gazprom's production fields are located around the Gulf of Ob in Western Siberia. Plans have also been made to mine the Yamal Peninsula. Gazprom's gas transport system includes 158,200 kilometres of gas trunk lines. Projects include Nord Stream and South Stream. In 2011, Gazprom produced about 513.2 billion cubic metres (18.12 trillion cubic feet) of natural gas, more than seventeen percent of global gas production. Gazprom also produced about 32.3 million tons of crude oil and nearly 12.1 million tons of gas condensate.
The company has subsidiaries in industrial sectors including finance, media and aviation, and majority stakes in other companies.
In 1943, during World War II, the government of the Soviet Union developed a domestic gas industry. In 1965, it centralized gas exploration, development, and distribution within the Ministry of Gas Industry. In the 1970s and 1980s, the Ministry of Gas Industry found large natural gas reserves in Siberia, the Ural region and the Volga region. The Soviet Union became a major gas producer.
In August 1989, under the leadership of Viktor Chernomyrdin, the Ministry of Gas Industry was renamed the State Gas Concern Gazprom, and became the Soviet Union's first state run corporate enterprise.
In late 1991, when the Soviet Union dissolved, gas industry assets were transferred to newly established national companies, such as Ukrgazprom and Turkmengazprom. Gazprom kept assets located in Russia and secured a monopoly in the gas sector.
In December 1992, when Boris Yeltsin, the Russian President, appointed Chernomyrdin, Gazprom's Chairman, his Prime Minister, the company's political influence increased. Rem Viakhirev took the chairmanship of Gazprom's Board of Directors and Managing Committee.
Following the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation of 5 November 1992 and the Resolution of the Government of Russia of 17 February 1993, Gazprom became a joint-stock company. Gazprom began to distribute shares under the voucher method. (Each Russian citizen received vouchers to purchase shares of formerly state-owned companies).
By 1994, 33% of Gazprom's shares had been bought by 747,000 members of the public, mostly in exchange for vouchers. Fifteen percent of the stock was allocated to Gazprom employees. The state retained 40% of the shares. That amount was gradually lowered to thirty-eight percent.
Trading of Gazprom's shares was heavily regulated. Foreigners were prohibited from owning more than nine-percent of the shares. In October 1996, 1% of Gazprom's equity was offered for sale to foreigners as Global Depository Receipts. In 1997, Gazprom offered a bond issue of US$2.5 billion.
Chernomyrdin, as Prime Minister of Russia, ensured Gazprom avoided tight state regulation. Gazprom evaded taxes, and the Government of Russia received little in dividends. Gazprom managers and board members, such as Chernomyrdin and the Gazprom Chief Executive Officer, Rem Viakhirev, engaged in asset-stripping. Gazprom assets were shared amongst their relatives. Itera, a gas trading company also received Gazprom assets. In March 1998, for reasons unrelated to his activities at Gazprom, Chernomyrdin was fired by Yeltsin. On 30 June 1998, Chernomyrdin was made Chairman of the Board of Directors of Gazprom.
When, in June 2000, Vladimir Putin became the President of Russia, he acted to gain control over Russia's oligarchs, and increase the Government of Russia's control in important companies through a program of national champions. Putin fired Chernomyrdin from his position as the Chairman of the Gazprom board. The Russian Government's stock in Gazprom gave Putin the power to vote out Vyakhirev. Chernomyrdin and Vyakhirev were replaced by Dmitry Medvedev and Alexei Miller. They were Putin's prior employees in Saint Petersburg. Putin's actions were aided by the shareholder activism of Hermitage Capital Management Chief Executive Officer William Browder, and the former Russian Finance Minister Boris Fyodorov. Miller and Medvedev were to stop asset stripping at Gazprom and to recover losses. Itera was denied access to Gazprom's pipelines and came close to bankruptcy. Itera agreed to return stolen assets to Gazprom for a fee.
In June 2005, Gazprombank, Gazpromivest Holding, Gazfond and Gazprom Finance B. V., subsidiaries of Gazprom, sold a 10.7399% share of their stock for $7 billion to Rosneftegaz, a state owned company. Some analysts said the amount paid by Rosneftegaz for the stock was too low. The sale was completed by 25 December 2005. With the purchased stock and the thirty-eight percent share held by the State Property Committee, the Government of Russia gained control of Gazprom. The Government of Russia revoked the Gazprom twenty percent foreign ownership rule and the company became open to foreign investment.
On 5 July 2006, the Federal Law, On Gas Export, was passed, nearly unanimously, by the State Duma and on the 7 July 2006, by the Federation Council. On 18 July Putin signed the new legislation and on 20 July 2006, the law was published. It gave Gazprom the exclusive right to export natural gas from Russia.
On 4 September 2012, the European Commission, a Brussels-based competition watchdog, announced an anti-trust investigation into Gazprom's activities. This was based on "concerns that Gazprom may be abusing its dominant market position in upstream gas supply markets."
On 21 May 2014, in Shanghai, Gazprom and the China National Petroleum Corporation made a contract worth $400 billion over thirty years. The contract was for Gazprom to deliver 38 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year to China beginning in 2018. In August 2014, construction began with pipes for the Power of Siberia pipeline delivered to Lensk, Yakutia.
Russia will start supplying natural gas to China through the Power of Siberia pipeline on December 20, 2019 as part of the two countries' $400 billion energy pact. Beijing and Moscow are now negotiating over a second Far Eastern gas pipeline.
In April 2001, Gazprom acquired NTV, Russia's only nationwide state-independent television station from Vladimir Gusinsky's company, Media-Most holdings. In 2002, the Gazprom subsidiary Gazprom Media acquired all of Gusinsky's shares in companies held by Media-Most.
In September 2005, Gazprom bought 72.633 percent of the oil company Sibneft for $13.01 billion. Sibneft was renamed Gazprom Neft. The purchase was aided by a $12 billion loan. Gazprom became Russia's largest company. On the day of the deal the company worth was valued at £69.7 billion (US$123.2 billion.)
In June 2007, TNK-BP, a subsidiary of BP plc, agreed to sell its stake in Kovykta field in Siberia to Gazprom after the Government of Russia questioned BP's right to export gas from Russia.
On 23 June 2007, the governments of Russia and Italy signed a memorandum of understanding towards a joint venture between Gazprom and Eni SpA to construct a 558-mile (900 km) gas pipeline to carry 1.05 trillion cubic feet (30 km3) gas per year from Russia to Europe. This South Stream pipeline would extend under the Black Sea to Bulgaria with a south fork to Italy and a north fork to Hungary. On 1 December 2007, during a visit to Turkey, Putin said the project would not proceed and 63 billion cubic metres per year (bcm/y) of gas would be shipped to Turkey instead of Bulgaria. Bulgaria was being sued by the European Union for signing a contract with Russia, which was not aligned with European Union regulations.The president of Bulgaria, Rosen Plevneliev, pressured the European Union and Russia to quickly resolve the matter.
In 2011, Gazprom produced 513.17 billion cubic metres (18.122 trillion cubic feet) of natural gas, which was 17 percent of the worldwide production and 83 percent of Russian production. Of this amount, the Yamburg subsidiary produced 41 percent, Urengoy 23.6 percent, Nadym 10.9 percent, Noyabrsk 9.3 percent and others 15.2 percent. In addition, the company produced 32.28 million tons of oil and 12.07 million tons of gas condensate.
Gazprom's main fields are located in the Nadym-Pur-Taz region (near the Gulf of Ob) in Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug in Western Siberia. The three largest fields are Medvezhe, Urengoy and Yamburg. After more than twenty years of production, the fields are now in decline. Production from the fields has decreased by twenty to twenty-five bcm per year. The production at Zaporliarnoe, Gazprom's fourth largest field, increased until 2004, offsetting the decline in the other fields. Since 2004, Gazprom has maintained production by activating new smaller fields and by purchasing production assets from other companies.
|billion cubic metres||2004||2005||2006||2007||2008||2009||2010||2011||2012||2013||2014||2015||2016|
|Source: Gazprom in figures 2004-2008, 2007-2011, 2009-2013 and 2012–2016.|
Gazprom's ability to supply natural gas has relied to a large extent on imports from Central Asia. In 2007, Gazprom imported a total of 60.7 billion cubic metres (2.14 trillion cubic feet) from Central Asia: 42.6 billion cubic metres (1.50 trillion cubic feet) from Turkmenistan, 8.5 billion cubic metres (300 billion cubic feet) from Kazakhstan, and 9.6 billion cubic metres (340 billion cubic feet) from Uzbekistan. In particular, Gazprom purchased seventy-five percent of Turkmenistan gas exports in order to supply gas to Ukraine. In 2008, Gazprom paid $130/mcm to $180/mcm for gas from Central Asia.
In 2015, Gazprom's proved and probable reserves of natural gas were 23.705 trillion cubic metres (837.1 trillion cubic feet), a 3.8% increase from the 2011 figure which represented 18.4% of the world's reserves. In 2015, the reserves of crude oil were 1.355 billion tons and the reserves of gas condensate were 933.3 billion tons. 59.8 percent of Gazprom's natural gas reserves (Categories A+B+C1) were located in the Urals Federal District (decreasing), 20.5 percent in the Arctic shelf (increasing), and 8.3 percent in the Southern Federal District and North Caucasus Federal District.
|trillion cubic metres||2004||2005||2006||2007||2008||2009||2010||2011||2012||2013||2014||2015|
|Source: Gazprom in figures 2004-2008, 2007-2011 and 2009-2013.|
Gazprom has invested about 480 billion rubles ($20 billion) in new major projects in order to maintain supply. Nearly 37 percent of Gazprom's reserves are located in the Yamal Peninsula and in the Barents Sea.
One of Gazprom's major projects is the Blue Stream Pipeline. The Blue Stream Pipeline delivers natural gas to Turkey via the Black Sea. In 1997, the Blue Stream Pipeline agreement between Turkey and Russia was signed. In 2000, the first joint was welded. The pipeline has transported 16 billion cubic meters each year.
Exploration of the Yamal peninsula has found reserves of over 10 trillion cubic metres of natural gas and over 500 million tons of oil and gas condensate. About 60 percent of these reserves are located in Bovanenkovo, Kharasavey and Novoportovo. The natural gas production capacity of the Bovanenkovo field was estimated to be 115 billion cubic metres per annum (4.1 trillion cubic feet per annum), with potential to increase to 140 billion cubic metres per annum (4.9 trillion cubic feet per annum).
The Shtokman field is one of the world's largest natural gas fields. It is located in the central part of the Barents Sea, 650 kilometres (400 mi) northeast of the city of Murmansk and 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) west of the Yamal Peninsula. The field is estimated to contain up to 3.7 trillion cubic metres (130 trillion cubic feet) of gas. Potential production is 71 billion cubic metres per annum (2.5 trillion cubic feet per annum) in the initial phases, with a potential increase to 95 billion cubic metres per annum (3.4 trillion cubic feet per annum). Gazprom, Total (France) and Statoil (Norway) created a joint company Shtokman Development AG for development of the field.
On 8 April 2013, in Amsterdam, Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee and Jorma Ollila, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Royal Dutch Shell signed in the presence of Putin and Mark Rutte prime minister of Netherlands a memorandum outlining the principles of cooperation within hydrocarbons exploration and development in the Arctic shelf and a section of the deep-water shelf. 
In 2008, Gazprom carried out 284.9 kilometres (177.0 mi) of explorative well drilling; 124,000 kilometres (77,000 mi) of 2D seismic and 6,600 square kilometres (2,500 sq mi) of 3D seismic survey. As a result, gas reserves grew by 583.4 billion cubic metres (20.60 trillion cubic feet), and crude oil and gas condensate reserves grew by 61 million tons.
Gazprom's Unified Gas Supply System (UGSS) includes 158,200 kilometres (98,300 mi) of gas trunklines and branches and 218 compressor stations with a 41.4 GW capacity. The UGSS is the largest gas transmission system in the world. In 2008, the transportation system carried 714.3 billion cubic metres (25.23 trillion cubic feet) of gas. The UGSS has reached its capacity. Major transmission projects include the Nord Stream and South Stream pipelines, as well as pipelines inside Russia.
In 2006, Gazprom sold 316 billion cubic metres (11.2 trillion cubic feet) of gas to domestic customers; 162 billion cubic metres (5.7 trillion cubic feet) to the rest of Europe; and 101 billion cubic metres (3.6 trillion cubic feet) to CIS countries and the Baltic states. Gazprom receives about 60 percent of its revenue from its sales to European customers. In 2008, the average gas price paid by Russian industrial customers was $71/mcm, while households paid $54/mcm.
|Gazprom sales of gas 2004-2008 in mega cubic meters (mcm).|
|Russia||306 bcm||$47/mcm||307 bcm||$36/mcm||316 bcm||$43/mcm||307 bcm||$42/mcm||287 bcm||$67/mcm|
|CIS+Baltic||66 bcm||$36.33/mcm||77 bcm||$50.02/mcm||101 bcm||$76.37/mcm||100 bcm||$91.6/mcm||96.5 bcm||$118/mcm|
|Europe||153 bcm||$101.61/mcm||156 bcm||$140.09/mcm||162 bcm||$192.59/mcm||168.5 bcm||$185/mcm||184.4 bcm||$313/mcm|
|Prices are excluding VAT and tax and custom duties. Sources:|
Since 2000, Natural gas prices have fluctuated. In late 2007, the price of natural gas at the New York NYMEX was 7,53 $ per MMBtu, at 26,4 m³ per MMBTU representing a price of $285 per 1000 Cubic metres. At the same time, based on their respective contracts with Gazprom, German customers paid (per cubic metre) $250, Polish customers $290, Ukraine customers $130 and Russian customers $49.
Gazprom delivers gas to 25 European countries. Its main export arm is Gazprom Export LLC, founded in 1973 and before November 1, 2006 known as Gazexport, which has a monopoly on gas exports to countries outside of the former Soviet Union. The majority of Russian gas in Europe is sold on 25 year contracts. In late 2004, Gazprom was the sole gas supplier to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Estonia, Finland, Macedonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Serbia and Slovakia. It provided 97 percent of Bulgaria's gas, 89 percent of Hungary's gas, 86 percent of Poland's gas, nearly 75 percent of the Czech Republic's, 67 percent of Turkey's, 65 percent of Austria's, about 40 percent of Romania's, 36 percent of Germany's, 27 percent of Italy's, and 25 percent of France's gas. The European Union receives about 25 percent of its gas supply from Gazprom.
In September 2013, during the G20 summit, Gazprom signed an agreement with CNPC that the Henry Hub index would not be used to settle prices for their trades. On 21 May 2014, Putin met with Xi Jinping and negotiated a $400bn deal between Gazprom and CNPC. Under the contract, Russia was to supply 38 billion cubic meters of gas annually over 30 years at a cost of $350 per thousand cubic meters beginning in 2018. In 2013, the average price of Gazprom’s gas in Europe was about $380 per thousand cubic meters. China offered a loan of about $50bn to finance development of the gas fields and the construction of the pipeline by Russia up to the Chinese border, with the Chinese to build the remaining pipeline.
On 1 January 2006, at 10:00 (Moscow time), during the Russia-Ukraine gas dispute, Gazprom ceased the supply of gas to the Ukrainian market. Gazprom called on the government of Ukraine to increase its payment for natural gas in line with increases in global fuel prices. During the night of 3 January 2006 and early morning of 4 January 2006, Naftogas of Ukraine and Gazprom negotiated a deal that temporarily resolved the long-standing gas price conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
On 3 April 2006, Gazprom announced it would triple the price of natural gas to Belarus after 31 December 2006. In December 2006, Gazprom threatened to cease supply of gas to Belarus at 10 am Moscow time on 1 January 2007, unless Belarus increased payments from $47 to $200 per 1,000 cubic metres or to cede control over its distribution network. Some analysts suggested Moscow was penalising Alexander Lukashenko, the President of Belarus, for not delivering on pledges of closer integration with Russia, while others noted that other countries like Armenia were paying as much for their gas as Belarus would with the new price levels.
Gazprom later requested a price of $105, yet Belarus still refused the agreement. Belarus responded that if supplies were cut, it would deny Gazprom access to its pipelines, which would impair gas transportation to Europe. However, on 1 January 2007, just a few hours before the deadline, Belarus and Gazprom signed a last-minute agreement. Under the agreement, Belarus undertook to pay $100 per 1,000 cubic metre in 2007. The agreement also allowed Gazprom to purchase 50 percent of the shares in Beltransgaz, the Belarusian pipeline network. Immediately following the signing of this agreement, Belarus declared a $42/ton transportation tax on Russian oil travelling through the Gazprom pipelines crossing its territory.
On 13 March 2008, after a three-day period where gas supplies to Ukraine were halved, Gazprom agreed to supply Ukraine with gas for the rest of the year. The contract removed intermediary companies.
On 1 April 2014, Gazprom increased the gas price charged to Ukraine from $268.50 to $385.50 (£231.00) per 1,000 cubic metres. Ukraine's unpaid gas bills to Russia stood at $1.7bn (£1.02bn). On 30 October 2014, Russia agreed to resume gas supplies to Ukraine over the winter in a deal brokered by the European Union.
Gazprom is a vertically integrated company, one which owns its supply and distribution activities. Gazprom owns all its main gas processing facilities in Russia. It operates Russia's high pressure gas pipelines and since 2006, it has held a legal export monopoly. Other natural gas producers, such as Novatek, Russia's second largest gas company, are forced to use Gazprom's facilities for processing and transport of natural gas.
At the end of 2008, Gazprom had 221,300 employees in its major gas production, transportation, underground storage and processing subsidiaries. Of these employees, 9.5 percent were in management, 22.9 percent were specialists, 63.4 percent were workers and 4.2 percent were other employees. Gazprom's headquarters are in the Cheryomushki District, South-Western Administrative Okrug, Moscow.
Gazprom is a national champion, a concept advocated by Putin, in which large companies in strategic sectors are expected not only to seek profit, but also to advance Russia's national interests. For example, Gazprom sells gas to its domestic market at a price less than that of the global market. In 2008, Gazprom's activities made up 10 percent of the Russian gross domestic product
On 29 December 2006, Gazprom's main shareholders were the Russian Federal Agency for Federal Property Management under Rosimushchestvo to May 2008, holding 38.373 percent; Gazprombank, a nominee holder holding 41.235 percent, including 13.2 percent of ADR holders; Rosneftegaz, holding 10.74 percent; Gerosgaz, holding 2.93 percent; and E.ON Ruhrgas, holding 2.5 percent. In 2006, the Russian government controlled 50.23 percent of Gazprom shares through Rosimushchestvo, Rosneftegaz, and Rosgazifikatsiya.
Gazprom has several hundred subsidiaries in Russia and abroad which are owned and controlled directly or indirectly by the company.
Gazprom's Board of Directors as of 9 August 2015:
Former members of the board:
Gazprom's management committee as of December 2006:
Former members of the management committee:
On 5 September 2005, shares of the members of the Board of Directors and Management Committee were:
Others have no share.
Gazprom is the owner and sponsor of the Russian Premier League football club FC Zenit Saint Petersburg and volleyball club VC Zenit-Kazan and Gazprom-Ugra Surgut at Russian Super League. On 1 January 2007, Gazprom also became the sponsor of the German Bundesliga club FC Schalke 04 at a cost of up to €25 million per year. On 23 November 2009, the partnership was extended for a further 5 years. The sponsorship is worth $150m (USD) over 5 years. On 9 July 2010, Gazprom became a sponsor of the Serbian SuperLiga football club Red Star Belgrade. In 2010, Gazprom was a Gold Partner of the Russian professional cycling team, Team Katusha, together with Itera, and Russian Technologies (Rostekhnologii). On 9 July 2012, Gazprom became a sponsor of the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Super Cup. The sponsorship continued for three season until 2015. On 17 July 2012, Gazprom became the official Global Energy partner of the UEFA Champions League 2012 winners Chelsea. The sponsorship continued for three years to 2015.
Gazprom also was a sponsor for the defunct-Minardi F1 team in 2002-2003.
According to geographer Richard Heede, Gazprom is second on the list of companies with the highest level of CO2 emissions globally in 2013 with 1,135 million tonnes (1.117×109 long tons; 1.251×109 short tons) in 2013, amounting to almost 3.4% of worldwide anthropogenic emissions.
Yuganskneftegaz was the core production subsidiary of the Yukos Oil Company, which was previously run by a Russian businessman, Mikhail Khodorkovsky. In 2003, the Russian tax authorities charged Yukos and Khodorkovsky with tax evasion. On 14 April 2004, Yukos was presented with a bill for over US $35 bn in back taxes and a demand to pay the entire bill the same day. Requests by Yukos to defer payment, allow payment by installments or to discharge the debt by sale of peripheral assets, including its shareholding in the Sibneft oil company, were also refused.
The bailiffs froze Yukos’ shares in Yuganskneftegaz and on 19 November 2004, they placed a notice in the Russian government newspaper Rossiyskaya gazeta. Yuganskneftegaz would be sold at an auction thirty days later on 19 December 2004. The conditions for participation in the auction included an advance deposit of US $1.7 bn and prior clearance by the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service. In early December 2004, Gazprom submitted an application to participate in the auction via its wholly owned subsidiary, Gazpromneft.
On 15 December 2004, Yukos filed for a bankruptcy protection in a Houston court, and obtained a temporary injunction prohibiting Gazprom from participating in the auction. On 16 December 2004, a group of Western banks withdrew their financial support for Gazprom's application. On the same day, Baikalfinansgrup, a previously unknown company, applied to participate in the auction.
On 19 December 2004, only two companies appeared at the auction, Gazpromneft and Baikalfinansgrup. Gazpromneft declined to place any offer. Baikalfinansgrup acquired Yuganskneftegaz on its first bid. On 23 December 2004, Baikalfinansgrup was acquired by Rosneft. Rosneft later disclosed in its annual financial statement that it had financed the acquisition of Yuganskneftegaz. At the time, Sergey Bogdanchikov was the president of Rosneft and the chief executive officer of Gazpromneft.
Shortly after the auction, the planned merger between Gazprom and Rosneft merger was abandoned, and Bogdanchikov resigned his post as chief executive officer of Gazpromneft.
On 7 February 2006, in response to a question by a Spanish journalist, Vladimir Putin disclosed that Rosneft had used Baikalfinansgrup as a vehicle to acquire Yuganskneftegaz in order to protect itself against litigation.
Gazprom's oil drilling in the Arctic has drawn protests from environmental groups, particularly Greenpeace. Greenpeace has opposed oil drilling in the Arctic on the grounds that oil drilling would cause damage to the Arctic ecosystem and that there are no safety plans in place to prevent oil spills.
In August 2012, Greenpeace had staged protests against the Prirazlomnaya oil platform, the world's first off-shore Arctic drill site. On 18 September 2013, the Greenpeace vessel MV Arctic Sunrise staged a protest and attempted to board Gazprom's Prirazlomnaya oil platform, the world's first off-shore Arctic drill site. Greenpeace stated that the drill site could cause massive disruption to the Arctic ecosystem. After arresting two campaigners attempting to climb the rig, the Russian Coast Guard seized control of the Greenpeace ship by making a helicopter drop, and arrested thirty Greenpeace activists from sixteen different nationalities. The Arctic Sunrise was towed by the Russian Coast Guard to Murmansk.
The Russian government intended to charge the Greenpeace campaigners with piracy and hooliganism, which carried a maximum penalty of fifteen years imprisonment. Greenpeace argued their operatives were in international waters. The Russian government's actions generated protests from governments and environmentalists worldwide. According to Phil Radford, Executive Director of Greenpeace in the US at the time, the reaction of the Russian coast guard and the courts were the "stiffest response that Greenpeace has encountered from a government since the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior in 1985." The charges of piracy were dropped in October 2013. In November 2013, twenty-seven of the campaigners were released on bail.
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