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MOSCOW, November 17 (Itar-Tass) — The fate of Russian citizens, who were arrested in Tripoli on August 27 and detained by the al-Qaaqa rebel battalion and who were so far not officially charged with any crime, will be solved soon, the Foreign Ministry reported on Thursday.
Despite all measures taken by Russia, “our citizens have not been freed till now”, the ministry said. “The Russian Foreign Ministry and the Russian Embassy in Tripoli convinced the Libyan authorities to free our citizens as soon as possible. The ministry and the embassy maintained permanent contacts with the Libyan prosecutor general , the leadership of the Libyan Foreign Ministry and the command of the al-Qaaqa rebel battalion,” the ministry said.
Russia also took all steps towards close cooperation with the Ukrainian and Belarusian colleagues whose compatriots had been detained in Libya. “Libyans refer to the protracted civil war in the country and the absence of centralised power. But they assure us that the problem will be solved soon,” the ministry said.
At the same time, the ministry notes certain progress. “We succeeded in improving the conditions of detention: our citizens were moved to more comfortable suites with TV sets. Consular officials and doctors have been allowed visits. If it necessary our doctor is allowed to remove them to a nearby hospital in order to undergo a thorough medical examination,” the ministry said.
“The Russian ministry and our embassy in Libya continue energetic efforts to free our citizens as soon as possible,” it added.
On August 27, two Russians and two Ukrainians, employees of a Libyan-based service company, were detained in Tripoli, the spokesman said. "On September 3, due to the efforts of our embassy in Tripoli, this group was released, but on September 6 these people were again detained for... their possible involvement in maintaining armoured vehicles for the pro-Gaddafi forces."