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MOSCOW, April 12 (Itar-Tass) — Foreign policy committee of Russia's State Duma has issued a statement in support of businessman Viktor Bout, whom a court in the U.S. has sentenced to 25 years in jail for an alleged involvement in the sales of weaponry to rebels in Latin America.
The committee tied up the Bout case to the prospects for a further maintenance of a strategic relationship between Russia and the U.S.
"Deputies of the State Duma who are members of the foreign policy committee are confident that the unjustified jailing of Viktor
Bout creates a highly unfavorable background for a new stage of Russian-U.S. relations," the statement said.
The MPs voiced a serious concern over the plight of full-scale cooperation between Russia and the U.S. "considering a growth of anti-Russian sentiments in the U.S. that are actively fanned by certain Representatives and Senators."
"It is important for the officials in Washington to realize the fundamental significance that Viktor Bout's case has for the future of Russian-Ukrainian strategic relations," the statement said.
Committee members expressed the hope that the American side will take the necessary steps towards Bout's earliest possible return to Russia.