News from Ukraine: Russia FSB charges of OSCE interpreter are groundless - Ukraine Security Service

13:25 Jul. 19, 2016

Russia FSB charges of OSCE interpreter are groundless - Ukraine Security Service

Members of OSCE observe a local damaged house after shelling in the eastern Ukrainian town of Makeevka, Ukraine on June 12, 2016 (Getty Images)

Artem Shestakov was accused of spying for Ukraine 

Earlier, Russia's FSB (Security Service) reported they detained Ukrainian citizen Artem Shestakov, interpreter for the OSCE, on charges of spying for Ukraine.

Ukraine's State Security Service (SBU) said FSB's statements are "completely unfounded".

The fact that Russian authorities released Shestakov "confirms his innocence", SBU's representative Oleksandr Tkachuk told RFE/RL.

OSCE spokeswoman Alexandra Taylor did not confirm that Shestakov was detained while on duty. She said it probably happened during the last three days when he was away on vacation.

Read also Russia's security services try to recruit a Ukrainian diplomat in Moscow

The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission reported they are clarifying the situation.

"The Mission is serious about such statements, but currently we have no evidence to support these charges. The OSCE observers will not comment on this message - we are studying the circumstances", the OSCE officials state.

Read also EXCLUSIVE: Drunk Russian 'ex-Spetsnaz' officer at OSCE fired from Ukraine mission

Russia's FSB detained a citizen of Ukraine, who worked as an interpreter for the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) Special Monitoring Mission. According to the FSB, he was a 'Ukraine's SBU agent'. Later he was allowed to return to Ukraine.

"Given that Shestakov did not damage Russia's security under the country's current law, he was allowed to return to Ukraine. However, the SBU spy will be banned from entering our country", stated the FSB officials.

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