Vladimir Vasilyev, the chairman of the State Duma's security committee, said he had no exact information on the Russians in the U.K. who have been put on the international wanted list, but he did say they included 15 suspects wanted in connection with the Yukos saga and tycoon Boris Berezovsky, who has been living in self-imposed exile in London since 2000.
The U.K. has already rejected one extradition request for Berezovsky, 59, who was granted political asylum in 2004 but is wanted in his homeland for fraud and money laundering. Russia recently made a fresh bid to secure his return after the one-time kingmaker told a Moscow radio station that he was planning an attempt to overthrow the incumbent authorities.
Although the U.K. is yet to respond, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw did warn Berezovsky, whose personal fortune has been estimated at about $1.5 billion, that his status could be reviewed.
"Those granted asylum in the United Kingdom have duties to the U.K. which require, in particular, that they conform to its laws and regulations," said Straw.
"They are advised that their refugee status can be reviewed at any time where it is considered their presence is not conducive to the public good."
Vasilyev said the European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism, which was ratified by the Duma Friday, would help secure the extradition of people trying to avoid justice.
The lawmaker said the document's ratification would make it less easy for Berezovsky and other suspects to engage in maneuvering in their cases.