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Russians abroad face increased risk of detention or arrest at US request

MOSCOW, April 10, /ITAR-TASS/. Russian citizens are facing an increased risk of being detained or arrested in third countries at the request of the U.S. authorities, the Foreign Ministry said on Thursday, April 10.

“This risk has increased immensely lately following the anti-Russian sanctions imposed by the United States,” the ministry said.

“The U.S. administration, which refuses without valid reason to recognise the reunification of Crimea with Russia, which is fully in line with international law and the U.N. Charter, is trying to make the ‘hunt’ for Russian citizens in third countries for their further extradition and conviction in the U.S., under doubtful charges as a rule, a routine practice,” the ministry said.

“America ignores the bilateral agreement of 1999 on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters and does not bother to inform the Russian authorities about the charges brought against our fellow citizens and in many cases does not even notify Russian consular missions of their detention,” the ministry said.

Russian embassies and consulates general do their best to “bring home the Russian citizens in trouble by providing all the necessary consular and legal assistance to them”, the ministry said. “However, one should remember that ‘justice, American style’ is biased against Russian citizens and the trials of those who have been abducted and taken to the United States usually end with guilty verdicts and long prison terms as was the case with Viktor Bout and Konstantin Yaroshenko,” the ministry said.

Given that, “we strongly advise the citizens of Russia to refrain from foreign trips, especially to the countries which have signed extradition agreements with the United States (the list of these countries is available on the U.S. State Department’s website), if there are suspicions that American law enforcement agencies can bring any charges against them”, the ministry said.