Euro 2016: Russia summons French envoy over fan arrests

Russian Foreign Ministry warns that further stoking of anti-Russian sentiments could damage Russian-French relations.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry has summoned the French ambassador to Moscow over the detention of Russian football fans during the Euro 2016 championship in France.

    "The Russian Foreign Ministry summoned the French Ambassador Jean-Maurice Ripert," the ministry said on Wednesday.

    It warned that "further stoking of anti-Russian sentiments over Russia's participation in the championship could significantly aggravate the atmosphere in Russian-French relations".

    A group of Russian football supporters have been detained in France before their deportation because authorities fear "they will cause trouble" during football matches.

    It is believed that the Russian supporters intended to travel to the northern city of Lille, where Russia play Slovakia on Wednesday.

    READ MORE: Dozens arrested as France labour protest turns violent

    The checks come after the English Football Association expressed concern that France was not doing enough to crack down on Russian fans following the mass fighting between English and Russian supporters in Marseilles on Saturday.

    WATCH: Violence mars England-Russia Euro 2016 opener

    The European football governing body, UEFA, has handed the Russian team a suspended disqualification until the end of the tournament, which could become a full disqualification should the scenes at Saturday's match be repeated.

    Russia was also charged over fan racism and the setting off of fireworks during the game and was fined $169,000 by UEFA.

    French prosecutors have said that 150 Russian supporters, who were "extremely well-prepared" and "extremely violent", evaded arrest in Marseilles.

    UEFA acknowledged that segregation problems at Marseilles' Stade Velodrome contributed to Russian fans attacking their English rivals after the 1-1 draw.

    OPINION: France, football and racism - the Karim Benzema affair

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, on the other hand, has told the Russian parliament that, while some Russian football fans behaved in an "unacceptable manner", it is impossible to ignore "outrageous provocations" by English football fans.

    "You have probably seen the outrageous images on TV when the Russian flag is getting stamped on," he said on Wednesday, referring to images of an England supporter jumping on a Russian flag.

    "You certainly should not respond with force but we cannot ignore those provocateurs," the foreign minister said.

    WATCH: Alcohol banned near Euro 2016 stadiums after fan violence

    SOURCE: Agencies


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