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Russian Foreign Ministry accuses US of ‘hunt’ on Russians

April 11, 2016, 20:10 UTC+3

The ministry claims that the US justice has a biased attitude to the arrested Russians

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Russian Foreign Ministry building in Moscow

Russian Foreign Ministry building in Moscow

© Sergey Bobylev/TASS

MOSCOW, April 11 /TASS/. The Russian Foreign Ministry has called on Russians to weigh all the risks carefully when planning their foreign trips in view of the US ongoing hunt on Russian nationals around the globe, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement posted on its official website on Monday.

"We would like to reconfirm that a threat of being detained or arrested at the request of US law enforcement bodies or security services in third countries remains real," the ministry said.

"Despite our constant calls to Washington to establish normal cooperation between competent bodies on the basis of the 1999 Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, the U.S. authorities continue their unacceptable hunt on Russian nationals in all parts of the world ignoring norms of international law and exerting pressure on other countries," the Russian Foreign Ministry explained.

"The number of such incidents has exceeded two dozen. The most recent examples include the recent extradition of three Russian nationals, including Maxim Senakha, Alexander Sergeyev and Mikhail Serov, from Finland to the United States.

"Without reckoning with anybody, Washington has got down to abduction of Russian nationals. "That was the case with Konstantin Yaroshenko, who was seized in Liberia in 2010 and secretly extradited to Russia in violation of Liberia’s national legislation and international law. In July 2014, US security agents literally stole Russian national Roman Seleznyov from the Maldives and later transported him by force first to Guam and later to Seattle, where he is still staying in custody," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

The ministry added that the US justice has a biased attitude to the arrested Russians. "They are being forced, in every possible way, to admit their guilt despite the fact that many of the accusations are far-fetched. Those who refuse are sentenced to enormous prison terms like the above-mentioned Konstantin Yaroshenko and Russian businessman Viktor Bout," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

"The institutions of the Russian Foreign Ministry abroad have always rendered and will continue rendering all-round consular and legal assistance to Russians who get into trouble seeking unconditional observation of their legal rights and interests as well as their earliest return back home," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

"However, in view of the above-mentioned circumstances we insistently recommend all Russian nationals to carefully weigh all the risks when planning their foreign trips, especially if there are grounds to assume that US law enforcement bodies have grudges against them. It concerns, above all, trips to countries, which have extradition treaties with the United States (the list of such countries is available at the U.S. State Department website)," the Russian Foreign Ministry went on to say.

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