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MOSCOW, June 7 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia’s foreign ministry is taking all possible measures to have Russian nationals convicted in Libya be freed, but regrettably, it has no “magic wand” to solve this problem overnight, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Thursday.
“Our task is to have our citizens be freed as soon as possible,” he stressed. “But don’t’ you think there is a ‘magic wand’ to solve this problem with a wave of a hand.” He reminded that Russia’s response to the ruling of the Libyan military court was harsh. “An appeal is being prepared, and we are actively backing this appeal, a demarche was staged in front of the Libyan embassy in Moscow,” he said. “We hope Libya’s current leaders will get these signals right.”
“The Russian embassy in Tripoli has consular access to our citizens, we are acting synchronically, in close cooperation with the Ukrainian and Belarusian partners,” the Russian diplomat informed. “We shall do our utmost, but, regrettably, diplomacy does not have a wide choice of instruments that can be used, and the result is not very quick.”
“Let us hope that the military tribunal will take into account our concern and our arguments we have been presenting to the Libyan authorities to reckon while taking a decision on this complicated matter,” Lukashevich said.
The final session of the Libyan military court over the criminal case against two Russian citizens, Alexander Shadrov and Vladimir Dolgov, as well as 25 Ukrainian and Belarusian citizens, who were detained in Tripoli on August 27, 2011, was held on June 4. All defendants were found guilty of having aided and abetted the al-Gaddafi regime by restoring military equipment. Alexander Shadrov, who was claimed to be the coordinator of the group, got life imprisonment, and the other Russian, Vladimir Dolgov, as well as the 25 citizens of Ukraine and Belarus were sentenced to ten years and corrective labour.
A group of citizens from the three former Soviet Union republics who were employed by the Russian-Libyan oil company Dakar were detained by rebels at the end of August 27, 2011 during the fighting for Tripoli. At first, they were regarded as hired snipers abetting the Gaddafi troops. However, later it was found out that they had no weapons and that almost half of the detainees were elderly people unfit for military service. Later two Ukrainian citizens, including one woman, were released and repatriated. For a long time no official accusations were made against the detainees.