MOSCOW, February 4 (Itar-Tass) – Russian citizens, who were earlier abducted in Syria, have been released and are in the Russian Embassy in Damascus, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported on Monday.
“For the exchange of three militants Russian citizens, V.V. Gorelov and A.Khassun, who were abducted by Syrian extremists on December 12, 2012 on the way to Tartus from Homs, the west of Syria, were released on February 3,” the ministry said.
“Russian citizens have been brought to the Russian Embassy in Damascus. They are sound and feel well. They have been an opportunity to contact with relatives,” the ministry said.
“Italian citizen M. Belluomo, who was taken hostage jointly with Russians, will be given to the Italian authorities through the Syrian Foreign Ministry,” the Russian ministry said.
It stressed that since Russians had been taken hostage in Syria the Russian Embassy in Damascus sought the release of Russians. The embassy maintained intensive contacts with representatives of the Syrian government, as well as with different opposition structures in Syria and outside it, the ministry said.
“Due to serious armed confrontation in Syria we confirm our recommendations to Russians to refrain from trips to Syria,” the ministry stressed.