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Russia informs France of Kerimov’s diplomatic immunity — Foreign Ministry

Suleiman Kerimov, who is a senator and a diplomatic passport holder, was detained in France
 Suleiman Kerimov, a member of the Federation Council Krasilnikov Stanislav/TASS
Suleiman Kerimov, a member of the Federation Council
© Krasilnikov Stanislav/TASS

MOSCOW, November 21./TASS/. Moscow has informed Paris that Suleiman Kerimov is a senator, is holder of diplomatic passport and has immunity in other states, Russian Foreign Ministry sources told TASS on Tuesday.

"The French Foreign Ministry and the Embassy in Moscow have been informed that Suleiman Kerimov is member of the Federation Council, is a country’s official and as such has immunity against enforcement action on the territory of other states," the ministry said. "He is a holder of diplomatic passport," it said.

"With this in view, Kerimov is entitled to immunity as an official and cannot be detained on the territory of a foreign state," the Foreign Ministry said.

The head of the Federation Council’s International Affairs Committee, Konstantin Kosachev, told TASS that "all necessary measures" are being taken to ensure Kerimov's release.  

"I maintain operative contact with the Russian Foreign Ministry. All necessary measures are being taken via the diplomatic and consular links, both in Paris and Moscow, to ensure the soonest release of the detainee," Kosachev said.

He added that the circumstances of the incident are being established.

 The chairman of the State Duma International Affairs Committee, Leonid Slutsky, told TASS on Tuesday the incident could be a result of a "deliberate provocation,"

"I hope that it was just a result of a misunderstanding, especially considering Kerimov’s diplomatic immunity as a member of the Federation Council. However, a deliberate provocation is also possible," Slutsky said.

He added that Kerimov is a well-known Russian official and a prominent businessman in the past. "I would like to hope that there is no political subtext in this case, and Kerimov will be released soon," the lawmaker said.

According to earlier reports, Suleiman Kerimov was detained at the airport of Nice late on November 20, and was taken to a police station.