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Russia urges release of reporters detained in Turkey

December 7, 2020

President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman said on Monday the Kremlin hopes that two Russian journalists detained in Turkey will be released as soon as possible.

Dmitry Peskov told reporters Russian diplomats were in contact with Turkish representatives to secure the release of two journalists working with Kremlin-friendly NTV channel “in the near future.”

“We hope through dialogue we will be able to resolve this incident,” Peskov said.

NTV said last week that journalist Alexei Petrushko and cameraman Ivan Malyshkin were arrested by police in Istanbul on Thursday morning.

A Turkish foreign ministry source said they were detained while filming near a facility for manufacturing drones and were working without accreditation.

Peskov said Russia would “take all possible steps” to help them.

Moscow and Ankara have agreed to jointly monitor a Russian-mediated truce over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region after a six-week war between Armenia and Azerbaijan that claimed over 5,000 lives.

But tensions between the two rose during the conflict, Russia accusing Turkey of deploying Syrian fighters to combat Armenian forces.

Dispatches from AFP concerning freedom of information, censorship and news coverage in regions where independent media is under threat.