The Russian Foreign Ministry is looking into the circumstances and reasons behind the arrest of Russian nationals in Libya, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Monday.
"We learned from media reports about the detention of Russian nationals in Libya, and the Foreign Ministry is taking the necessary steps to clarify the circumstances of this detention and establish the reasons," he said. "Our foreign office is working on this," Peskov stressed.
President of the Russian non-profit organization ‘Foundation for National Values Protection’ Alexander Malkevich earlier confirmed that the organization’s staffers - Maxim Shugalei and Samer Hasan Ali, who had been detained in Libya, are citizens of Russia.
"There were three people in the research group. One of them is already in Russia. Sociologist Maxim Shugalei is a Russian national, while interpreter Samer Hasan Ali has dual citizenship of Russia and Jordan," Malkevich told TASS on Saturday.
According to Malkevich, the foundation’s employees were accused of alleged interference in the election and are kept in the prison of Mitiga located on the outskirts of Tripoli.
The foundation’s president pointed out that Russia’s Foreign Ministry and embassy to Libya provided all the possible assistance to the jailed Russians.
"The Foreign Ministry submitted a note [of protest] to Libya’s Government of National Accord. Our embassy is working on the issue, but we should understand that the Russian embassy to Libya is temporarily located in Tunisia, so our capabilities are somehow restricted. However, full support and help are provided at their level [by the foreign ministry and embassy] and there are attempts to maintain contacts with Libya’s authorities," he added.
The foundation’s employees did not interfere in Libya’s electoral processes and their activities were limitited to monitoring the situation in the country, Malkevich stated.