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Moscow’s steps in Seleznyov case depend on US moves — diplomat

July 15, 2014, 15:38 UTC+3 MOSCOW
American investigators suspect Roman Seleznyov of having intended to steal, and then sell credit cards' data of US citizens
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© EPA/JOHN RILEY

MOSCOW, July 15. /ITAR-TASS/. Moscow’s further steps concerning the situation with Russian national Roman Seleznyov, who was arrested over a week ago in the Maldives on US warrant and relocated to a jail on Guam, will directly depend on the measures taken by the American authorities. An official with the Russian Foreign Ministry said this on Tuesday.

“We will be pondering our next steps considering the measures, which will or will be not undertaken by the US authorities,” Russian Foreign Ministry’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law Konstantin Dolgov said in an interview with Russia’s Rossiya-24 television channel.

Seleznyov was detained at the international airport of the Maldives’ capital Male on July 5. According to the earlier ministry’s statement he was “forced aboard a private plane by US security service agents and taken to the island of Guam.”

“In any case the Russian Foreign Ministry is following the situation as closely as possible,” Dolgov said. “We keep working to achieve a decision, which would best suit interests of Roman Seleznyov.”

The diplomat also said that Moscow expects the United States “to fully abide by its international obligations.”

“In this case, just like in all other similar situations, the US authorities are fully responsible for the life and health of the Russian national,” he added.

“Russian citizens must be provided with all the necessary legal and judicial support as well as lawyer’s assistance so that their legal rights and interests, including procedural rights, are fully met,” he said.

The Russian diplomat also said that the situation in establishing a contact on Seleznyov’s case with the US Attorney Office remained complicated.

“We hope that the problems will be resolved, but so far, according to our information, such problems maintain and the US Attorney Office personnel refused to set a contact with the Russian Consulate staff,” Dolgov said. “We will keep applying necessary efforts to lift all obstacles in the way of the support provision, particularly the consulate support for our citizen.”

American investigators suspect Seleznyov of having intended to steal, and then sell credit cards' data of US citizens between October 2009 and February 2011. In March 2011, a court in the State of Washington charged him in absentia on 29 counts, which jointly entail imprisonment for several dozen years and a fine of several million US dollars.

Dolgov said on Monday that the Russian Foreign Ministry presented a demarche to the US Embassy in Moscow in connection with the charges brought against Seleznyov and another Russian citizen, Konstantin Yaroshenko, in the United States.

Russian pilot Yaroshenko was detained by the US authorities in Liberia in 2010 and then taken to the United States. In September 2011, a US court sentenced him to 20 years in prison for having been allegedly involved in a criminal ring organized for smuggling a large shipment of cocaine. Yaroshenko denied the accusations. Moscow believes that the pressed charges against him were politically motivated.

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