03:43 GMT22 September 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Employees of Russian diplomatic missions are maintaining contact with Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko, serving a 20-year term in the United States, but neither the diplomats nor Yaroshenko was informed about the new place of his confinement, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday.

    "Neither consulate workers, nor Yaroshenko was informed about the new place of his confinement … Our diplomats, employees of the Russian diplomatic missions, are contacting him. As soon as we receive information about the new place of confinement of this Russian citizen, our consulate representatives will, of course, approach him, and visit him to make sure his rights and detention conditions are observed," Zakharova told a press briefing.

    The Russian diplomats will pay special attention to Yaroshenko's health during contacts with him after they are informed about the new place of detention, Zakharova noted.

    The foreign ministry spokeswoman pointed out that Moscow insisted on Yaroshenko’s return to Russia.

    Earlier in June, the Russian embassy in the United States said that Yaroshenko would be transferred from the Fort Dix prison in New Jersey to a different place of confinement.

    READ MORE: Russian Pilot Yaroshenko Transferred to Another US Prison — Russian Embassy

    On June 1, a spokesperson for the Russian Embassy in the United States told Sputnik that Yaroshenko had been removed from solitary confinement after having spent over one month there despite health problems.

    Yaroshenko was given 20 years in prison in 2011 on allegations of conspiring to import more than $100 million worth of cocaine into the United States. The Russian pilot was captured in Liberia in 2010 and handed over to the United States, prompting protests from Russia. In April 2016, the Appeals Court of New York refused to revise the pilot's sentence.

    READ MORE: Yaroshenko to Stay in US Jail's Isolation Cell for at Least 3 Months — Spouse

    Yaroshenko has repeatedly spoken about the tough conditions he was subjected to at his prison, as well as his deteriorating health and lack of help from the US authorities to improve his condition.

    Russian Commissioner for Human Rights Tatyana Moskalkova has asked the US authorities to pardon Yaroshenko, but her request has been rejected.

    prison, pilot, Konstantin Yaroshenko, Russia
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