08:11 GMT20 February 2020
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    Russia wants to make sure that its two citizens arrested in Ukraine are safe.

    GORNO-ALTAISK (Sputnik) — Russia will not abandon its citizens arrested in Ukraine and will make strong efforts to ensure their speedy release, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday.

    "We will pursue their release in line with relevant legal procedures that exist in Ukraine," Lavrov said at a joint press conference following talks with Kazakh Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov.

    Russian citizens Alexander Alexandrov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev were wounded and taken prisoner in the Lugansk region in mid-May. Kiev claimed that the detained were active-duty Russian army servicemen, while the Russian Defense Ministry dismissed these allegations stating that even though they had received military training with the Russian Armed Forces in the past, they had not been on active duty at the time of arrest.

    "We have made all necessary official steps to get immediate access to two arrested Russian citizens right from the beginning," Lavrov said.

    Moscow demanded that Ukraine release the prisoners and has repeatedly called on Kiev to enable Russian embassy staff to visit Alexandrov and Yerofeyev.

    "We want to make sure that they are not under pressure and that their interests are fully guaranteed," the minister stressed.


    Last Friday, a Kiev court authorized the arrest of the two Russians until July 19.


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    citizens, arrest, Ukraine, Russia
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