Greenpeace activist Alexandre Paul back in Montreal

Spent three months in Russian custody following Arctic protest

Michel Boyer/CJAD

Greenpeace activist Alexandre Paul is now back on Canadian soil after spending three months in Russian custody following a protest.

Paul's parents, Greenpeace activists and a throng of media were on hand when his plane landed at Trudeau airport at 3:30 this afternoon.

Paul was one of more than two dozen Greenpeace members — the so-called 'Arctic 30' — who were rounded up by Russian authorities during an oil-drilling protest in the Russian Arctic in September.

The were arrested while trying to mount a oil-drilling platform owned by the Russian oil company Gazprom.

The Russian government granted the 'Arctic 30' amnesty — a move many see as an attempt by the Russian government to silence criticism about its human-rights record with the Sochi Winter Olympics less than two months away.

The Russians had initially charged him and the others with piracy — a charge that could have seen the activists languish in a Russian prison for up to 15 years.

Paul says knowing he could spend that long in a Russian prison was the most anxious part of his ordeal.

"When we knew it was going to be a charge of piracy, which meant up to 15 years in prison, and I realized my parents might not be around for that length of time," he said. "That made me panic the most.''

He thanked Canadian consular officials for informing them of how their families were doing as well as bringing him books.

But he had harsh words for the federal government.

Asked what he thought about Canada's intervention in helping him return home, Paul replied: "What intervention? That's my question.

"I was a bit disappointed, but it's time to move on. We know that in Canada we have a government that's been put there by the petroleum industry. That's known.

"But the word I'd use to describe the involvement of Mr. Baird or the entire federal government would be 'disappointed, really disappointed'.''

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  1. Joe posted on 12/27/2013 06:39 PM
    Send the creep back.
  2. JohnH- posted on 12/27/2013 10:17 PM
    Welcome to the real world. No candy-ass jails in RUSKI-Ville.
  3. Eric posted on 12/27/2013 10:23 PM
    Modern day pirates! This guy and his buddies should all have been forced to face the full brunt of the law! Russian jails aren't like ours! No club fed there. They would learn pretty fast !
  4. Richard posted on 12/29/2013 07:17 AM
    Big talk from this guy

    First he cries how he feared he would spend 15 years in jail...then he brags how he would do it again. Go it again....but this time you will spend 15 years in jail

    I also love how he took a gas burining green house gas producing Airplane to get home.....They should have made him walk
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