08:24 GMT27 January 2021
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    Moscow calls on Washington to stop the practice of detaining Russian citizens in third countries, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said at a briefing on Thursday.

    "Unfortunately, the number of arrests of our citizens in third countries from US warrants and with their direct participation continues to grow. And in 2017 saw a real surge — there were 11 cases," she said.

    Zakharova reminded that the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs regularly publishes recommendations on this issue to Russians traveling abroad and called them to take it seriously.

    READ MORE: DoJ: Alleged Russian Hacker Levashov Extradited to US From Spain

    According to her, Russians are subjected to "appropriate measures of exposure and threats."

    "We also demand that the US stop the unacceptable practice of hunting Russian citizens around the world, although, unfortunately, the US does not show that it's ready [to do so]," she added.

    Zakharova's statement comes just a week after a Russian national Peter Levashov has been extradited from Spain to the US.

    Russian Embassy in Spain said that Madrid's decision to extradite Peter Levashov to the United States is disappointing and that Russia's appeal has priority.

    In October 3, 2017 a Spanish court agreed to extradite Levashov to the US; he'd been arrested in the country on suspicion of hacking. The decision was appealed by Levashov's lawyers but the court's verdict was confirmed.

    This has been not the first Russian detained abroad at the US request. For example, Konstantin Yaroshenko and Viktor Bout, both Russian nationals, were extradited to the US from third countries and charged, respectively, with cocaine trafficking and intending to smuggle weapons. They have denied any wrongdoing. Bout, a businessman, was arrested in Bangkok in 2008 and Yaroshenko was arrested by FBI agents in May 2010 in Liberia.


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