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Ukraine Summons Russian Consul Over Journalist's Arrest


Ukrainian journalists hold up posters of Roman Sushchenko during a protest to call for his release in front of the Russian Embassy in Kyiv on October 6.

Ukrainian journalists hold up posters of Roman Sushchenko during a protest to call for his release in front of the Russian Embassy in Kyiv on October 6.

Ukraine has summoned the Russian consul in Kyiv after Moscow detained one of its state media journalists for alleged espionage.

Roman Sushchenko, a Paris-based correspondent of the Ukrinform news agency, was detained in Moscow on September 30 and later charged with espionage.

Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mariana Betsa said the Russian consul was summoned on October 6 to give an explanation as to why Kyiv officials had been denied access to the reporter.

"This is a direct violation of human rights and international law," Betsa said.

Russia has no ambassador in Kyiv.

Meanwhile, some 30 Ukrainian reporters picketed Russia's Embassy in the Ukrainian capital in protest over Sushchenko's arrest, and some Ukrainian lawmakers pushed for the introduction of travel visas for Russians in retaliation for Moscow's move.

Sushchenko's lawyers say the charge against their client is trumped-up, adding that he was in the Russian capital to visit relatives.

Based on reporting by AFP and Interfax
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