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Foreign Ministry outraged by Russian citizen's detention by US secret service in Maldives

July 08, 13:17 UTC+4
July 5, Russian citizen Roman Seleznyov was detained in the airport of Male, Maldives, forced by agents of American secret service into a private jet and brought to Guam Island
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Russian Foreign Ministry building in Moscow

Russian Foreign Ministry building in Moscow

© ITAR-TASS/Gennady Khamelyanin

MOSCOW, July 8. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia considers the detention of the Russian citizen Roman Seleznyov by US secret services as Washington's unfriendly step, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

“As it became known, July 5, Russian citizen Roman Seleznyov was detained in the international airport of the city of Male, the capital of Maldives,” the ministry recalled. “On the same day, he was forced by agents of American secret service into a private jet and delivered to Guam Island. This fact has been already confirmed by the US Department of Homeland Security.”

“We consider the incident as another Washington’s unfriendly step,” the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stressed.

“It is not the first time that the US kidnaps a Russian citizen ignoring the 1999 mutual legal assistance agreement,” the ministry said. “In particular, the same occurred with Viktor Bout and Konstantin Yaroshenko, who were brought by force in the USA from third countries and convicted on questionable charges.” “Noteworthy that we are not informed about the claims lodged against our compatriots, furthermore, as in Seleznyov’s case, they don’t even inform Russia’s diplomatic agencies about their detention,” the ministry emphasized.

 

About the stance of Maldives’ authorities

“The stance of Maldives’ authorities cannot be but outraging, since despite the existing international legislation norms they allowed another country's special service to kidnap a Russian citizen and take him out of the country,” the diplomatic service stressed. “We demand that the Maldives’ government provides necessary explanations.”

“Russian diplomats are making every possible effort to find out the circumstances of Roman Seleznyov’s detention and to provide his soonest return to homeland,” the Foreign Ministry said. “We are insisting on intelligible explanations of the incident from US authorities, strict compliance with the rights of the Russian citizen and provision of consular access to him.”

“In view of the aforementioned situation, we once more strongly recommend our compatriots to give serious consideration to Russian Foreign Ministry’s warning published on the ministry’s website regarding the risks linked with trips abroad when there are concerns that American law enforcement agencies might lodge any claims against them,” the statement says.

 

Detained Russian turns out to be son of lawmaker

State Duma member representing the Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR)  Valery Seleznyov has confirmed his son Roman had been detained by US secret service in the Maldives.

“I am now in negotiations with the Russian Foreign Ministry. Kidnapping is a crime,” he told ITAR-TASS on Tuesday. “The country must protect its citizens, and Roman should go back to Russia.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Valery Seleznyov dubbed a provocation media reports saying that his son Roman was allegedly arrested in the USA on suspicion of a cyber attack, data theft and computer-related fraud.

“This is some monstrous lie and provocation,” the lawmaker told ITAR-TASS.

“The case in hand is that in media reports, there are many evidential inaccuracies: my son was not on the territory of the USA and he was not born in Moscow,” Seleznyov specified.

In addition, he said that his son Roman had nothing to do with computer technologies. Furthermore, Seleznyov recalled that in 2011, his son became victim to a terrorist attack in Morocco. “It’s painful to me as a father to speak about it, but consequences of this tragedy are seen until today, Roman is going through a medicated rehabilitation course, and I cannot image how he could be involved in any cyber attacks amid the issues he has,” the MP said.

He added, however, that he couldn’t get in touch with his son yet.

The lawmaker doesn’t exclude that “a terrible coincidence occurred, and the detained young man is just a namesake of Roman”. “In any case, I wish him success, since we all know what American justice actually is,” the lawmaker concluded.

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