Russia said Tuesday it is trying to secure the release of two Russians being tried in Libya for allegedly aiding Moammar Gadhafi's forces during last year's civil war.
The Foreign Ministry said the two men, along with 23 nationals from Ukraine and Belarus, have been charged with helping to maintain weapons that Gadhafi's regime used to fight the uprising against his rule. The trial began last week.
The ministry said Russian diplomats are trying to improve the detention conditions of the two Russians and ensure their quick release. It said they were detained by the rebels in August.
In Belarus, the Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that the defendants being tried in Libya include two Belarusians. The ministry said they had signed contracts to "operate civilian facilities" in Libya and were arrested shortly after entering the country.
For years, Libya was a major customer for Soviet weapons, and shortly before his downfall Gadhafi signed new contracts for the supplies of Russian military gear.