MOSCOW, November 8 (Itar-Tass) —— It is held in Russia that the sentence passed on Russian pilots in Tajikistan is too harsh and politically motivated, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated on Tuesday, commenting on the decision the court in Kurgan-Tyube passed on Russian citizen Vladimir Sadovnichy and Estonian citizen Alexei Rudenko.
“The prosecution has not supplied any convincing proofs of the defendants’ guilt,” sources in the ministry said. “The indictment was actually built around inventions and suppositions. The Tajik side openly violates the existing international norms,” the ministry’s officials stressed. “It is also unclear what is meant to be done about the apprehended planes,” sources in the ministry added.
“This decision does nothing to promote the strengthening of the relations of allies and of strategic partnership that formed between our countries, harms these relations considerably,” the ministry officials said. “The Russian authorities will continue rendering the necessary assistance to the compatriots,” they said.
Sources in the Russian Foreign Ministry recalled that the pilots flew planes of the Rolkan air company that, under the contract with the American Supreme Food firm, carried non-military cargos for coalition forces in Afghanistan.