MOSCOW, February 1. /TASS/. Over 10 Russian citizens were arrested abroad at US requests in 2017, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported on its website on Thursday.
"Despite our appeals to establish cooperation between relevant authorities in Russia and the US based on the bilateral US-Russian Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty of 1999, American intelligence agencies continue a true ‘hunt’ for Russians across the world. The number of such cases already reached four dozens," the ministry stated. "Over 10 Russians were arrested abroad at Washington’s requests in 2017."
It even goes as far as abducting Russians, the ministry noted. "This is the way it happened with Konstantin Yaroshenko, who was abducted in 2010 in Liberia and secretly - in violation of this country’s national legislation and international law - taken to the US, as well as with Roman Seleznev, whom American agents literally stole from the Maldives in July 2014 and forcibly took to the American territory," the Russian Foreign Ministry reiterated.
Moscow stressed that "after extradition to the US, Russian citizens face discrimination of the American "justice." "There are attempts through various methods, including direct threats, to make them plead guilty, despite the farfetchedness of many accusations, and they are given long jail terms if they refuse. This is what happened to mentioned Konstantin Yaroshenko and Russian businessman Viktor Bout," the ministry noted.
The ministry said that "Russian diplomatic missions abroad have always provided comprehensive consular and legal help to Russians in distress and will continue to provide it, striving for observance of their lawful rights and interests, as well as the speediest return to their Motherland." "However, regarding the mentioned circumstances, we strongly recommend Russian citizens to assess all risks, especially if there are grounds to expect claims from American law enforcement authorities," the ministry stressed.