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French police detain Russian senator in Nice — embassy

On November 20, French police detained Russian businessman Suleiman Kerimov, the Federation Council legislator

PARIS, November 21./TASS/. French police officers in Nice have detained Russian businessman Suleiman Kerimov, a legislator from the Federation Council upper house of the Russian parliament, the press service of the Russian Embassy to France told TASS on Tuesday.

"Suleiman Kerimov was detained at the airport of Nice late on November 20, he was taken to a police station," the embassy said.

"Right after the information came, officers from the secretariat of the Russian Consulate General in Villefranche-sur-Mer left for the airport of Nice. They promptly arrived at the airport and secured a meeting with Kerimov, it was at about 3:30 am (5:30 am, Moscow time)," the embassy said.

There have been no official accusations as of yet. The Russian senator is still at a police station in Nice, the embassy said. It is unclear at the moment how long he will stay in custody in France.

‘At the present time, all Russian consular services stay in constant touch with the French authorities, all possible assistance is provided to the Russian senator," the embassy said.

 Moscow has informed Paris that Suleiman Kerimov is a senator, is holder of diplomatic passport and has diplomatic 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 holds the diplomatic passport," it said.