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Julie Bishop may pursue Greenpeace activist

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Greenpeace activist Collin Russell with his wife Christine and daughter Madeleine.

Greenpeace activist Collin Russell with his wife Christine and daughter Madeleine. Photo: Peter Mathew

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says she may ask Greenpeace activist Colin Russell to foot the bill for the government assistance provided in Russia, saying it runs into the tens of thousands of dollars.

Ms Bishop has defended the government's efforts on behalf of Mr Russell, who says Canberra should have done more to free him from a Russian jail. The Foreign Minister said she was surprised by his complaints, saying the Tasmanian received representation from consular officials in both Murmansk and St Petersburg, as well as from herself and the Australian ambassador.

She hoped Mr Russell ''has a regret'' about the cost to the taxpayer, adding the money may be recovered.

''That's certainly something I'll look at,'' she said in Perth on Friday.

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