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US Denies Arresting Russian Citizens Abroad Violates Legal Treaty

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US Department of Justice Public Affairs Specialist Mark Abueg said that US law enforcement’s apprehension of Russian nationals abroad is unrelated to the terms of the Mutual Legal Assistance treaty that was negotiated between the United States and the Russian Federation in 1999.

Alleged Russian arms trafficker Viktor Bout, center, escorted by Thai police commandos, arrives at Don muang airport in Bangkok. (File) - Sputnik International
Russia to Continue Efforts to Free Russian Citizen Bout Convicted in US
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US law enforcement’s apprehension of Russian nationals abroad is unrelated to the terms of the Mutual Legal Assistance treaty that was negotiated between the United States and the Russian Federation in 1999, US Department of Justice Public Affairs Specialist Mark Abueg told Sputnik.

"The 1999 treaty referenced is a mutual legal assistance treaty between the United States and Russia, the goal of which is to facilitate the gathering of evidence and other information in criminal matters," Abueg stated on Tuesday. "It does not relate to the apprehension of fugitives. The United States and Russia are not parties to an extradition treaty."

Earlier on Tuesday, Russian Foreign Ministry's Human Rights Ombudsman Konstantin Dolgov said the United States has issued 22 warrants for the detention of Russian citizens in different countries around the world and continues to ignore the 1999 bilateral Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, which provides a mechanism for exchanging information on suspects.

On December 23, Russian citizen Yuri Efremov was detained at Finland's airport upon US request. This followed the arrest of Russian national Alexei Burkov in Israel on December 15 upon US request for alleged hacking activities.

In connection with such incidents, Moscow has recommended that Russian citizens should weigh all risks when planning trips abroad, especially if there are reasons to suspect claims by US law enforcement agencies.

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