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The United States said on Thursday that Russia failed to grant its diplomats access to detained US citizen , Michael Calvey .

Calvey was first detained along with three other executives from his fund after investigators accused him and others of embezzling 38. 17 million dollars .

He denied the allegations against him , saying the case is being used to apply pressure on him in a business dispute over a Russian bank in which he is a shareholder.

The case has raised concerns among some foreign investors in Russia who are worried about the business climate .

In a sign those concerns are being taken seriously in some circles , the head of Russia ’ s RDIF sovereign wealth fund and its biggest state bank have spoken out in Calvey ’ s favour .

RDIF on Thursday requested Calvey be freed from a pre -trial detention facility in Moscow and put under house arrest instead .

Hours after Calvey was charged , the US embassy in Moscow said Russia was denying its diplomats access to him .

It said it had asked to visit Calvey multiple times, but had not been granted access, something it said flouted consular rules between the two countries .

Calvey is being held in a cell with seven other people and is experiencing back pain , Ivan Melnikov , a member of a public commission for the rights of inmates , told Reuters.

Melnikov , who visited Calvey in custody on Wednesday , said the US national was sharing a cell with people being held over non – economic crimes in contravention of prison regulations .

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday that Calvey ’ s case was in the political spotlight .

“ The question lies at the centre of a very lively political discussion .

“ And I think that all the circumstances of the case will be taken into account when the legal hearings take place soon , ” Lavrov was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies .

“ As far as I understand he was not a very visible person in the public realm .

But of course , I’ ve heard what people whom I deeply respect have said about him , and I think many people have heard this , ” Lavrov said .

Calvey is due to appeal his arrest on February 28.

Calvey was detained a week after the founder of Baring Vostok private equity group was detained in Moscow .
“ We insist on access now , ” it said .

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