MOSCOW, September 3 (RIA Novosti) - US authorities have shown “no signals” of wishing to cooperate with Russia on the case of Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko, who is serving a 20-year term in a New Jersey prison, human rights special representative Konstantin Dolgov from Russia’s Foreign Ministry told RIA Novosti on Wednesday.
“We have received no signals that the American side is ready to cooperate on this issue. Furthermore, we are constantly told that the State Department cannot interfere with the work of other authorities, that they have nothing to do with it, but this is not the case,” Dolgov said.
Russia’s efforts to ensure due medical assistance to its citizen have been made impossible by requirements set by US officials. Russian doctors are still not allowed to examine Yaroshenko, the ombudsman said.
“We have appealed to the American Ministry of Justice, but the situation does not change. There are absolutely formal obstacles for the arrival of [Russian] doctors and these conditions cannot be removed. In particular, doctors are required to have a license to practice medicine in the state of New Jersey, and no Russian doctor holds such a license,” Dolgov explained.
Russian officials have asked US authorities to allow a joint health check during which Russian doctors can examine Yaroshenko alongside with their US colleagues, but this suggestion was rejected as well, Dolgov said.
“The situation hasn’t changed for the better so far, but we’re working on ways to get [Yaroshenko] transferred to his homeland. One gets the impression that as long as he is in the hands of the American justice system, these problems will not disappear, because the United States government continues to openly ignore international obligations,” he stated.
Yaroshenko was detained in Liberia by US secret service agents in 2010, accused of conspiring with drug smugglers. The Russian pilot denied the charges, but was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in jail in April 2011 for colluding to smuggle cocaine into the United States.
In February 2014, Yaroshenko started complaining of severe heart pains, dizziness and nausea, fearing they were symptoms of an impending heart attack. Russia’s efforts to provide Yaroshenko with medical assistance have been blocked by US officials.