10:02 GMT28 February 2021
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    Moscow will raise the issue of releasing Russian businessman Viktor Bout and pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko with US President Donald Trump’s administration, Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak told reporters on the eve of Diplomats' Day.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Bout was arrested in Bangkok in 2008 in a joint operation between Thai and US authorities, who accused him of conspiring to kill Americans by allegedly agreeing to supply Colombian militants with weapons. Moscow has said that the case has been politicized and has repeatedly called on Washington to release the Russian citizen, who is serving a 25-year sentence in the United States.

    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 April, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that arguments made to reverse Yaroshenko’s conviction lacked merit.

    “We constantly urge to release our citizens, both Bout and Yaroshenko,” Kislyak stated. “We are ready to use the existing mechanisms with the Americans. So far, it yielded no results. The [US] Administration has now changed, so we will see. But it has always been on our agenda, and will remain one of the priority issues in the context of bilateral relations with the United States.”

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    arrest, Sergei Kislyak, Konstantin Yaroshenko, Viktor Bout, Donald Trump
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