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Czech Lawmakers Detained For Hours At Moscow Airport

A delegation of Czech lawmakers has been detained for hours at a Moscow airport and prevented by Russian authorities from boarding their plane.

A Czech government passenger jet landed at Sheremetyevo Airport on October 22 to allow representatives of the Czech embassy to board.

Petr Gazdik, deputy speaker of the parliament's lower house and the delegation's head, said the lawmakers were on the way to Russia's Ulyanovsk to unveil monuments to Czech troops who took control of almost the entire Trans-Siberia railway at the end of World War I.

Gazdik said the Russian authorities have given no explanation and the Czechs sent a diplomatic note to complain after being stuck at Sheremetyevo for several hours before they were allowed to take off.

The Czech Foreign Ministry said the delay was caused by "administrative reasons." It said in a statement it was working with the Russian side "to prevent similar misunderstandings in the future."

Based on reporting by AP and Czech TV

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