Three U.S. diplomats have been removed from a train and briefly questioned by Russian authorities in the sensitive Arctic shipyard city of Severodvinsk, near the site of a mysterious explosion in August that killed five nuclear workers.
There are areas in Russia and in the USA that are closed for diplomats and they need special permission to visit respective areas.Three U.S. diplomats have been removed from a train and briefly questioned by Russian authorities in the sensitive Arctic shipyard city of Severodvinsk, near the site of a mysterious explosion in August that killed five nuclear workers.
Russia's Interfax news agency reported on October 16 that the diplomats were taken off the train that runs between Severodvinsk and Nyonoksa around 6 p.m. on October 14.
nterfax said the documents of the three were checked before they were released.
It said the trio included a naval attaché and a defense attaché.
Indeed the trio has a permission to visit the city of Arkhangelsk but not any point in vast Arkhangelsk region. Btw, VoA doesn't mention this important detail.Russia's state-run TASS news agency quoted a source as saying law enforcement authorities suspected the three of breaching rules on foreigners visiting controlled zones.
Yes, they notified the authorities about their trip to Arkhangelsk but appeared in another place that requires special permission to visit it.However, Reuters quoted a spokesman from the U.S. State Department as saying the "American diplomats were on official travel and had properly notified Russian authorities of their travel."
Coverage in the Guardian is more detailed.
Russian foreign ministry said trio detained on train near Severodvinsk had named a different city as their destination and had obviously got lost’
In a statement, the Russian foreign ministry confirmed that the diplomats were on an official trip and had informed the Russian defence ministry of their plans.
“Only, they said their intention was to visit Arkhangelsk and they ended up en route to Severodvinsk,” the ministry said.
“They obviously got lost. We are ready to give the US embassy a map of Russia,” the ministry added.