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Russian diplomats pressing for meeting with Russian athlete Genrikh Sretensky arrested in US

September 07, 2012, 21:10 UTC+3

Russian diplomats are prepared to offer any type of assistance to Sretensky

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MOSCOW, September 7 (Itar-Tass) — Russian Foreign Ministry is pressing for an opportunity for its consular workers to have a meeting with Russian figure skating coach Genrikh Sretensky, who has been arrested in the U.S. in connection with an unclear incident that took place last year, a source at the ministry said Friday.

“The Foreign Ministry’s departments concerned and the Russian diplomatic agencies in the U.S. are watching closely the situation around Sretensky, who has worked for many years in that country as a figure skating coach and who was arrested recently in Maryland,” the source said.

“We’re keeping a close contact with his lawyers and we’re pressing for a stringent observance of Genrikh Sretensky’s civil rights by the American authorities,” he said. “Unfortunately, U.S. officials didn’t furnish us with a due notification on his arrest.”

“We’re working to organize a consular meeting with Sretensky and to get the specification of charges that the authorities have brought on against him,” the spokesman said.

“Russian diplomats are prepared to offer any type of assistance to Sretensky, the same way they have assisted all the Russian citizens who found themselves stranded in foreign countries,” he said.

Genrikh Stretensky, who competed for the Soviet Union in ice dancing with partner Natalya Annenko in the mid-1980’s, was arrested in Maryland earlier this month on unspecified sexual offense charges.

Sretensky and Annenko were three-time European bronze medalists /in 1986, 1987 and 1989/ and one-time European silver medalists /in 1988/. They turned over to professional sports in 1989.

Until his arrest, Sretensky coached at the Gardens Ice House in Laurel, Maryland.

According to international news media, he is accused of “fondling a teenage figure skater in his hotel room” in Lake Placid, NY, in July 2011.

Reports quoted the lawsuit saying the charges against him include “kissing the girl and touching her breasts against her will.”

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