Bout extradition will not harm Russian-U.S. ties - State Dept

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The U.S. strictly complies with international legal norms in the case of alleged Russian arms dealer Victor Bout and is convinced that the extradition would not harm Russian-U.S. ties.

The U.S. strictly complies with international legal norms in the case of alleged Russian arms dealer Victor Bout and is convinced that the extradition would not harm Russian-U.S. ties.

At a media briefing, U.S. State Department spokesman Philip Crowley reiterated his earlier statement to U.S. media that the two states have "broad and deep" relations, based on national interests.

"We understand that on a number of issues, we agree to disagree sometimes," Crowley said. "We have tensions that crop up periodically, and we work to manage those. I don't expect that this will have any impact on the relationship."

He also said that Bout's extradition was "fully consistent with both our bilateral treaty obligations with Thailand and with international law."

The spokesman added that the U.S. is informed of Russia's stance on the issue, and Bout's case is being discussed with the Russian government.

Russian Foreign Ministry stated on Tuesday there was no "rational explanation or justification" for the extradition ruling.

Bout, 43, was extradited to the United States to face charges that he conspired to sell weapons to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), among other illegal arms deals. He is facing life in prison if convicted.

The former Russian army officer was arrested in Thailand in March 2008 during a sting operation led by U.S. agents.

His extradition to the United States was ordered by the Thai appeals court on August 20, but was not carried out because the United States brought a second set of charges against him in February.

These charges were dropped in early October, bringing the so-called Merchant of Death one step closer to extradition. His remand period was due to expire on Friday.

The accused arms dealer was put on a charter flight sent on Tuesday from Washington shortly after the Thai government issued final approval for his extradition.

WASHINGTON, November 17 (RIA Novosti)

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