Russian nationals Dmitry Karpenko, Aleksey Krutilin were arrested in Denver, Colorado, on charges of conspiring with naturalized US citizen Aleksey Barysheff, Brooklyn, New York, who was detained over an attempt to buy and illegally export sensitive electronics without a mandatory federal license to Russian end-users, according to the US Department of Justice.
The suspects could face up to 25 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
Moscow expects explanations from Washington of the arrest. The Foreign Ministry's human rights advocate Konstantin Dolgov told Izvestia, "At this moment we know nothing about any charges and we presume that the US authorities must officially explain the grounds behind the detention of our citizens. Our embassy and consulate in San Francisco continue their work in this direction."
Moscow has lost all trust in US objectivity after previous federal prosecutions of Russian citizens.
"It's been a long time since we lost any trust in the unbiasedness and objectivity of US justice. Unfortunately we have a great number of examples in which arrests of Russian citizens had been made without any grounds and with violations of the law, including abduction on the territory of third countries," Dolgov said.
According to the State Duma Committee for International Relations, Aleksey Chepa, the US is trying to heat up the already-tense international situation.