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Lavrov helped secure release of German journalist from jail in Venezuela, ministry said

Journalist Billy Six, accused of spying, was released from a military prison in Caracas in mid-March

MOSCOW, March 28. /TASS/. Russia helped secure the release of German journalist Billy Six from a Venezuelan jail but heard no words of thanks from the German Foreign Ministry, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a news briefing on Thursday.

Six, accused of spying, was released from a military prison in Caracas, where he had spent four months, on March 15 to fly back home. The German broadcaster Deutsche Welle broke the news of his arrest at the end of last year. Six was reportedly charged with espionage, rebellion and security violations.

"The German diplomats know nothing about Russia’s role, because they had never discussed this theme with Russia. I’m not going to make any comments regarding the activity of the German foreign policy service or the degree of its involvement in efforts for securing the release of the German journalist, if at all. I believe it would be wrong and not ethical, if I tried," Zakharova said.

"At the same time I believe that it was absolutely impolite and bad-mannered of the people representing power in a country whose journalist regained freedom, to a certain extent through the efforts of the Russian foreign minister, to find it unnecessary to thank in public those who had played an active role in settling this very complex situation," Zakharova said.

She recalled that issue of the German journalist’s fate was raised at the negotiations between the Russian and Venezuelan foreign ministers in Vienna on March 14.

"Russia raised this issue after the journalist’s relatives addressed the Russian foreign minister with a direct message. I can also say that there had been no official messages to Russia from the authorities in Berlin - either the executive bodies of power or the foreign ministry," Zakharova said.

In contrast to this, she added, the journalist’s relatives thanked the Russian Foreign Ministry.

"It is up to the journalist himself to narrate the details of the events that followed when Sergey Lavrov’s request was expressed to the Venezuelan side. It is most important the journalist is now free and has reunited with his family and dear ones," Zakharova said.