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MOSCOW, October 31 /TASS/. Moscow has urged Washington not to stonewall the application of the 1983 Council of Europe Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons for returning Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko to his native country, Konstantin Dolgov, the Russian Foreign Ministry Ombudsman for Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law, told a news conference on Monday.
"As for Konstantin Yaroshenko, all the necessary steps have already been taken," Dolgov told TASS when asked about the application of the Council of Europe Convention. "Hopefully, common sense is going to prevail in Washington, which will acquire the spirit of humanism," Dolgov stressed.
According to the diplomat, the Russian’s health continues being a source of concern.
"I wish that the response (to a call to apply the Council of Europe Convention) were not so drawn out, Dolgov said adding he would not like the US elections and the coming change in administration to affect that process. "We want the decision to be positive. There are all grounds for handing over Yaroshenko to his home country," the Russian diplomat stressed.
Yaroshenko was arrested in Liberia in May 2010 and whisked off to the United States. In April 2011, the jury found him guilty of conspiracy to transport a large shipment of drugs and sentenced him to 20 years behind bars. The Russian pilot has fully denied all charges, saying that his arrest was a set-up and that he was framed. Yaroshenko is serving a prison sentence in Fort Dix prison in New Jersey.