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    Russia to seek return of drug dealers facing execution in China

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    MOSCOW, May 19 (RIA Novosti) - Russian parliamentarians will make every effort to achieve the return of two Russians arrested for drug dealing in China so they avoid the death penalty, a senior MP said Friday.

    "No matter what the detained individuals may have done, they are Russian citizens and our laws should be applied to them," said Konstantin Kosachev, the chairman of the State Duma's international affairs committee.

    Chinese security services arrested the two Russians May 16 in the southwestern Yunnan province and seized more than 900 grams of heroin from them. The Russians admitted their guilt immediately and under the law could be executed.

    Kosachev said his committee was currently completing preparations for ratification of the Russian-Chinese agreement on extradition, which the lower chamber is set to consider May 26.

    He said the document would give Russia legal grounds to seek the extradition of citizens facing the death penalty in China, which accounted for 90% of executions in the world in 2004.

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