Petr Dubinsky

Moscow Expects Czech Republic To Release Franchetti

Russia wants the Czech Republic to release Russian Alexander Franchetti, who was detained in Prague on Sunday. According to the TASS agency, a spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharov, said today that Prague should not politicize the case. According to her, his release to Ukraine will have consequences. Frančetti was detained by the Czech police at the request of Ukraine, which accuses him of actively participating in the Russian annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea in 2014.

“We expect that the Czech side will release the Russian citizen as soon as possible and that we will receive answers from it to our questions regarding the reasons and motives for his detention,” Zacharovová said. “We urge the Czech side to make a balanced decision, not to allow its politicization and not to be led by the Ukrainian authorities,” she added.

According to a spokeswoman for Russian diplomacy, Moscow expects Prague to refrain from new steps that worsen the already complex bilateral relations, which, she noted, are strained by the Czech Republic.

The Prague City Court sent Frančetti to pre-trial detention on Tuesday. In it, the Russian has to wait for the outcome of the proceedings concerning the Ukrainian request for his extradition.

Asked whether Russia was prepared to retaliate in the event of Franchetti’s extradition to Ukraine, Zacharova said Moscow would consider it a “not friendly” act that “would have consequences.” “I would like to emphasize that not friendly treatment of our citizens will have its consequences. What? I think it will be necessary to proceed from the concrete development of events,” she replied.