Roman Ruzhechko, a suspect in a Russian oil pipeline contamination probe who was detained in Vilnius earlier this week, has asked for political asylum in Lithuania, a court spokeswoman said on Friday.
© AP / Scanpix

"The court sanctioned Ruzhechko's arrest for three months on Thursday. He has asked for political asylum," Rimante Kraulise, spokeswoman for the Vilnius City District Court, told BNS.

Russian law-enforcement officials suspect Ruzhechko of involvement in the contamination of Russia's Druzhba oil pipeline, which is operated by Transneft.

The oil pipeline was halted on April 19 after it was found to contain oil with a high content of dichloroethane, a toxic substance with strong corrosive properties.

Oil supplies to at least six European countries were stopped.

The Reuters news agency was the first to report on Friday that Ruzhechko is seeking political asylum in Lithuania.

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