Two US citizens have been detained in the southern Russian city of Novorossiysk, the Russian Foreign Ministry told CNN on Wednesday.
“We can confirm information about the detention of a few US citizens,” Maria Zakharova said in response to a question about reports of the detention of two members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Eric Hawkins, a spokesman for the Mormon church, said authorities detained two church volunteers in Novorossiysk on Friday evening while they were at a local meetinghouse.
A US State Department also told CNN that two US citizens were being held in Novorossiysk, a port city on the Black Sea.
“We can confirm two US citizens were detained in Novorossiysk, Russia,” an official said in a statement Wednesday. “We have no higher priority than the protection of US citizens abroad. Due to privacy considerations, we do not have any additional information at this time.”