MOSCOW  - Russian security services said Sunday they had briefly detained a French journalist in the Far East for violating regulations of the country’s border zone near China. Le Figaro magazine’s Moscow correspondent Pierre Avril was detained Thursday, according to the regional FSB security service in Russia’s Jewish Autonomous Region that borders China. “In violation of border regulations, he did not have a permit allowing him to be in the border zone,” Interfax news agency quoted the FSB’s official statement as saying.

The journalist was taken out of the zone and fined 500 rubles ($16), it said.

Avril wrote in Le Figaro earlier that the FSB interrogated him for two hours about his work in the border region, asked whether he worked “for the army or the embassy”, and let him go after four hours in detention.