MOSCOW, September 4 (Itar-Tass) - Further arrests of Russian citizens in third countries at the U.S. request are “an unacceptable practice” that may force Moscow to retaliate, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s commissioner for human rights, democracy and the rule of law Konstantin Dolgov said.
On Wednesday, September 4, the presented a note of protest to a U.S. Embassy official in Moscow in connection with the increasingly growing number of arrests of Russian citizens in third countries at the request of American law enforcement agencies for their subsequent extradition to the United States.
Dolgov draw his attention to “concrete instances of prosecution of Russian citizens on doubtful charges.”
Russia “demands an end to this unacceptable practice the continuation of which will force the Russian side to take retaliatory measures,” Dolgov said. “If U.S. law enforcement agencies have any complaints against our citizens, they should use the mechanism laid out in the bilateral treaty on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters of 1999,” he added.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has advised Russians who may have problems with the American law to refrain from travelling to countries that have extradition agreements with the United States.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia advises Russian citizens to refrain from foreign trips, especially to the countries that have signed extradition agreements with the United States and if there are suspicions that American law enforcement agencies may take legal action against them,” the ministry said.
“Russian citizens have been detained more and more often lately in different countries at the request of American law enforcement agencies for their further extradition and judicial prosecution in the United States. The latest such examples include the arrests of Dmitry Ustinov in Lithuania, Dmitry Belorossov in Spain, Maxim Chukharev in Costa Rica, and Alexander Panin in the Dominican Republic,” the ministry said.
“Experience shows that the trials of those who were basically abducted and taken to the U.S. are biased, based on shaky evidence and conspicuously accusatory. As a rule, they result in illegitimate verdicts with long prison terms as in the case of Viktor Bout and Konstantin Yaroshenko, who were sentenced to 25 and 20 years in prison, respectively,” the ministry said.
More than 120 countries have extradition agreements with the United States, including all of the EU and Latin American countries, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.