Private efforts could complicate U.S. detainees' release from Russia, State Dept says

·1-min read

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Efforts by private citizens to broker the release of Americans held in Russia could complicate steps Washington is taking to bring U.S. detainees home, a State Department spokesperson said on Wednesday.

The comments by spokesperson Ned Price came in response to questions from journalists about a trip this week to Russia by Bill Richardson, a former New Mexico governor who has worked to secure the release of American detainees abroad.

"We want to make sure that any outside effort is fully and transparently coordinated with us," Price said. "[In] this case we believe that any efforts that fall outside of that officially designated channel have the potential to complicate what is already an extraordinarily complicated challenge that we face."

(Reporting by Simon Lewis; Editing by Leslie Adler)