Russian court keeps U.S. soldier Black in custody, Interfax says

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A court in the Russian city of Vladivostok ruled on Friday to keep U.S. military serviceman Gordon Black under arrest, the Interfax news agency reported.

Participating in the court via video link from a pre-trial detention centre, Black, charged with theft, had sought to have the arrest decision overturned. He said through an interpreter that he would stay in Russia during the investigation and trial.

The prosecution objected, saying Black could abscond if released.

Black, a U.S. staff sergeant, was detained on May 2 by police in Vladivostok on suspicion of stealing from a woman he was in a relationship with.

He had been based in South Korea. The Pentagon said he had broken army rules by travelling to Russia without authorisation, having passed through China.

The United States warns its citizens against all travel to Russia, citing an array of reasons, including "the potential for harassment and the singling out of U.S. citizens for detention by Russian government security officials" and the arbitrary enforcement of the law.

(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Mark Trevelyan and Alex Richardson)