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Jailed Russian Pilot Yaroshenko May Be Returned to Russia as Trump Takes Office

© Sputnik / Go to the photo bankKonstantin Yaroshenko
Konstantin Yaroshenko - Sputnik International
Konstantin Yaroshenko, a Russian pilot held in a United States prison since 2011 on drug smuggling charges, may be returned to his homeland under Donald Trump's administration, the Izvestia newspaper reported on Monday, citing US Republican party sources.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to the report, US president-elect may consider the return of the Russian pilot.

"The president-elect may consider this. But it is a very complex process in the United States that can be opposed by Congress and society. On the other hand, it is an exclusive right of the president," the sources said to the newspaper.

The sources pointed out that Trump could reshuffle the US Ministry of Justice and the Prosecutor's Office. In addition, the issue of release of Russian prisoners can be raised at the talks with the Russian representatives, they said.

Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko - Sputnik International
Russian Embassy Requests US Justice Department to Extradite Yaroshenko
Yaroshenko, a Russian pilot sentenced to 20 years in prison for conspiring to import more than $100 million worth of cocaine into the United States, was arrested in Liberia in 2010 and subsequently extradited to the United States.

In early 2014, Yaroshenko started complaining of severe heart pains. He was granted a medical examination only after numerous requests by his lawyer and Russian diplomats. Russian authorities have repeatedly expressed concern over the circumstances of Yaroshenko's arrest and conditions of his detention.

In October, Russian Foreign Ministry Human Rights Ombudsman Konstantin Dolgov said that the Russian Embassy in the United States has requested the US Department of Justice to transfer the imprisoned pilot. Dolgov said also that Moscow was ready to exchange US nationals held in Russian prisons in exchange for Yaroshenko.

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