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Kremlin gives no comment on possible exchange of Russian servicemen abducted by Ukraine

The Kremlin spokesman agrees with Sergey Lavrov on the matter and says it was a provocation
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov Ilya Pitalev/TASS
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov
© Ilya Pitalev/TASS

MOSCOW, November 22. /TASS/. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to comment on Tuesday on the possibility of exchanging Russian servicemen abducted by Ukraine’s security officers in Crimea.

"So far, I can’t answer this question," Peskov said in reply to a question about the possibility of such an exchange.

"Everything that is necessary in this situation is being done," the Russian presidential spokesman said.

"They are the citizens of the Russian Federation. In this case, this is the main thing," the Kremlin spokesman said in response to a request to specify whether they were former Ukrainian servicemen or had taken Russia’s oath of enlistment.

The Kremlin spokesman agreed with the position reflected in a statement made by Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

"Lavrov has already made a statement. There is nothing else to add as he fully outlined Russia’s position," Peskov said.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has come up with a statement that Ukrainian special services have made a provocation against Russian citizens on the territory of Russia by abducting two servicemen in Crimea.

"We believe this was an unlawful provocation made by Ukraine’s special services on the territory of Russia against Russian citizens. Our law-enforcement agencies are dealing with this issue," Lavrov said.

The reports about the abduction of two Russian servicemen, warrant officer Maxim Odintsov and contract service junior sergeant Alexander Baranov, came on Monday evening.

As Russia’s Defense Ministry said, the Ukrainian Security Service officers had illegally detained Russian contract servicemen in Crimea at about 13:00 Moscow time (10:00 GMT) on November 20.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said further that according to available data, the Ukrainian special services are taking affects to fabricate a criminal case against Baranov and Odintsov for allegedly committed crimes against Ukraine.

Russia’s Defense Ministry does not rule out that psychological and physical pressure will be exerted on the Russian servicemen to obtain necessary confessionary evidence from them.