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US Officials Meet with American Greenpeace Activists Detained in Russia

JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The State Department says U.S. officials have met with two American Greenpeace activists behind bars in Russia on charges of piracy. The two were arrested last month along with a number of other activists while protesting a Russian oil rig in the Arctic Circle.

During a news conference Friday in Washington, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said the legal process is ongoing.

"We have raised and will continue to raise the case with Russian authorities as appropriate to ensure the provision of consular services to the detained Americans. We are, of course, monitoring it very closely," Psaki said.

The American captain of the Greenpeace vessel, called the Arctic Sunrise, and about 29 other activists and a journalist were refused bail in a Russian court on Monday.

The group was aboard the Arctic Sunrise when the ship was seized by Russian border guards in September, according to the New York Times. Members of the crew had previously attempted to use inflatable boats to board a Russian offshore oil platform and were doused with cold water and threatened by security.

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