Greenpeace tows Russian line

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AMSTERDAM (AFP) - The tables turned on Russian coastguards yesterday when their vessel's motor failed and they had to rely on the Greenpeace ship in their charge to tow them towards the Arctic port of Murmansk. On Monday, coastguards fired three warning shots across the bow of the Greenpeace vessel, Solo, which was on its way to a nuclear dumping site on a mission to document submarine nuclear dumps and check for possible radiation leaks.

The Solo was boarded by coastguards who searched the ship, then began towing it to Murmansk. A Greenpeace spokeswoman said one of the Solo crew members managed to make discreet contact with Greenpeace in Moscow yesterday. She said all was well on board, but that the Solo had been obliged to help the Russian vessel, the Ladoga, when its motor failed. The Solo was towing the Ladoga towards Murmansk; the Solo's Dutch captain had little choice but to assist the Russian vessel as there were 12 armed soldiers on board.