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Russia demands Kiev release Rosatom employees being held hostage -- diplomat

Moscow is demanding that the Ukrainian side immediately release four employees of Rosatom's subsidiary who are being kept at the Rovno Nuclear Power Plant, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Tuesday.

"An outrageous incident has been reported with four Russian employees of a Rosatom subsidiary. They delivered special cargo to the Rovno NPP under contractual obligations. For over a month, Ukraine's authorities have kept them in a railway car at the station," she said.

"We demand the Ukrainian side release our citizens and ensure their safe return to Russia. We call on the IAEA to help settle this matter," she insisted.

According to earlier reports, Vladimir Lapin, Ilgiz Khusnetdinov, Ivan Kryachko, and Vladislav Shishkin, who are employees of the Atomspetstrans (a Rosatom subsidiary) central office, on February 23 delivered cargo to Ukraine's Rovno Nuclear Power Plant under an existing contract. Since then, the Russian specialists have been unable to return home. Rosatom has informed the secretariat of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) via Russia's mission to Vienna-based international organizations about this incident and raised alarm over this deplorable situation.

[Source: Tass, Moscow, 29Mar22]

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