MOSCOW, June 30. /TASS/. Moscow will do its utmost using diplomatic channels to defend Russian citizen Viktor Ageev detained in eastern Ukraine, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.
"Everything in line with the law, I mean measures on defending interests, will be implemented," Peskov told reporters, noting that Russia usually uses its diplomatic channels to defend rights of its citizens abroad.
The Russian citizen’s detention in Ukraine is not linked to the upcoming meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump, Peskov said. Putin and Trump are expected to meet at the G20 summit in Germany’s Hamburg on July 7-8.
"I don’t think this issue has any relation to the meeting with Trump," he told reporters.
Earlier, the Russian BBC service reported, quoting the Ukrainian Defense Ministry and the command of the Ukrainian Armed Forces 93rd separate mechanized brigade, that Russian "serviceman" Viktor Ageev, who, allegedly, was conscripted in the Altay Region and served under contract, had been captured in the Lugansk region.
Russia’s Defense Ministry has earlier refuted the BBC reports that Ageev was a Russian serviceman. The ministry said Ageev has never served in Russia’s Armed Forces under contract. He conducted compulsory military service in the Russian Armed Forces, which he left in accordance with the established procedure in May 2016. The ministry stressed that information that Ageev rejoined the Russian Armed Forces under contract "was made up by Ukrainian agitators.".