April 4, 2006

Russia detains American, Briton in Far North

MOSCOW (Reuters) - An American and a Briton, who said they
were traveling from South America to Britain, have been
detained by Russian border guards after crossing the Bering
Strait, Russian news agencies reported on Tuesday.

The travelers, whose names were not given, were detained on
April 1 in the remote northern peninsula of Chukotka after
crossing from Alaska.

"The two foreigners were spotted and detained by border
guards," said Andrei Orlov, a spokesman for the North-Eastern
border guards of the Federal Security Service (FSB), RIA said.

He said the travellers had commercial visas, were equipped
for arctic conditions and also had a satellite navigation
system and a hand gun. They were detained for illegally
crossing Russia's border.

A spokesmen for the British Embassy in Moscow said Britain
was trying to check the reports with the Russian authorities.
The United States Embassy in Moscow declined to comment.

An FSB spokesman in Moscow declined to comment.

Russia borders the United States in the Bering Strait,
which can be crossed during winter by foot.