Russia is not discussing with the United States any possible swap deals concerning the alleged Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, extradited to the United States from Thailand late last year, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday.
Bout is being held in a New York prison while he awaits trial in the United States on charges that include conspiring to supply arms to terrorist groups and kill U.S. nationals. He denies all the charges against him.
"Nobody is discussing any swap deals concerning Viktor Bout," Lavrov said at an annual 2010 summary news conference.
Russia has repeatedly said the United States has been using illegitimate methods towards Bout, including both extradition procedures and treatment in the U.S. jail.
Lavrov said the United States used unacceptable methods while questioning Bout's wife, Alla, who had come to see her husband.
The Americans expressed their regret for not warning Bout's wife that she had received a U.S. single entry permit instead of a visa, Lavrov said.
"This is pretty sad. I hope they will adhere to the U.S.'s legal requirements in dealing with innocent people, who have the right to see their jailed relatives," Lavrov said.
Former Russian army officer Bout was arrested in Thailand in March 2008 during a sting operation led by U.S. agents. He was extradited to the United States in November after spending more than two and half years in Thai prisons. The extradition process saw both the U.S. and Russian governments exert considerable diplomatic pressure on Thailand.
MOSCOW, January 13 (RIA Novosti)