MOSCOW, September 16. /TASS/. Moscow calls on Prague to refrain from politicizing the case of Russian national Alexander Franchetti, detained in the Czech Republic, and release him, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing on Thursday.
"We expect that the Czech Republic will release the Russian national as soon as possible and provide answers to our questions about the reasons for his detention," she pointed out. "We call on the Czech Republic to take a balanced decision, prevent it from being politicized and avoid taking cues from the Ukrainian authorities," Zakharova added.
The diplomat added that the Russian embassy in Prague maintained close contact with Franchetti and his Czech lawyer, as well as with the Russian’s family. According to Zakharova, Moscow expects Prague to refrain from creating new irritants in the already difficult bilateral relations, which have become particularly tense because of Prague’s actions.
"Remarks by some Czech officials that these developments have nothing to do with our bilateral relations are nothing but hypocrisy," she added.
On Tuesday, the Prague Municipal Court ruled to place Franchetti in custody over fears that he may leave the country. The Russian national is currently awaiting the decision of the Czech authorities. The review of the issue on his extradition to Ukraine may take about a year. According to media reports, Franchetti’s detention on an international arrest warrant issued by Kiev could be linked to his active participation in the 2014 events around Crimea’s reunification with Russia.