WORLD Moscow accuses Washington of detaining Russian citizen after arresting ex-U.S. Marine


Moscow accuses Washington of detaining Russian citizen after arresting ex-U.S. Marine


06:29, January 06, 2019


A view of the Russian Foreign Ministry building in Moscow,  April 6, 2018 (Photo: VCG)

The Russian Foreign Ministry said on Saturday the United States had detained a Russian citizen, days after Moscow arrested former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan on suspicion of spying.

Whelan was arrested by Russia's Federal Security Service on December 28, 2018.

His family have said he is innocent and that he was in Moscow to attend a wedding.

The ministry said the United States detained Russian citizen Dmitry Makarenko on the Northern Mariana Islands on December 29 and had moved him to Florida.

"... Makarenko, born in 1979, has arrived on Saipan Island with his wife, underage children and elderly parents. He was detained by FBI personnel at the airport right after his arrival," the ministry said.

The U.S. Embassy in Moscow could not immediately be reached for comment.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said this week Washington had asked Moscow to explain Whelan's arrest and would demand his immediate return if it determined his detention is inappropriate.

Britain cautioned Russia on Friday that individuals should not be used as diplomatic pawns. Whelan also holds a British passport.

The Russian ministry said in its statement Moscow diplomats had not been able to reach Makarenko in Florida and said Washington had yet to explain his detention.

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