January 17, 2017 - 16:09 AMT
Moscow against Belarus' extradition of Russian citizen to Baku

Moscow is against the extradition of a Russian citizen detained in Belarus to Azerbaijan, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters Tuesday, January 17, Sputnik reports.

"Moscow will try to resolve the issue about the detention of Russian-Israeli blogger Alexander Lapshin, who has previously visited Nagorno Karabakh," Lavrov told a press conference.

Lapshin, who is 40, divides his time between Israel and other countries. He was arrested on December 15 in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, in response to a request by the Azerbaijani authorities, who have now demanded his extradition. The arrest was made a day after Prime Minister Netanyahu visited Baku. Lapshin was arrested after making several visits to the Nagorno Karabakh.

Lavrov said that Russia opposes the criminalization of visiting various areas in different regions by journalists or other persons.

At the same time, he said, Moscow will not agree to extradition of detained Russians to third countries.

"We had a consular contact with Mr. Lapshin. We know that he is also a citizen of Israel. We believe that we will make every effort to resolve the situation while fully respecting the rights of the citizen of the Russian Federation," Lavrov said.