Russia questions charges brought against its citizen by U.S. to have him extradited from Lithuania - diplomat

The Russian authorities have serious doubts about the charges the U.S. has brought against Russian citizen Dmitry Ustinov to secure his extradition from Lithuania.

The Russian authorities have serious doubts about the charges the U.S. has brought against Russian citizen Dmitry Ustinov to secure his extradition from Lithuania.

"Leaving aside the essence of the charges brought against the Russian, about which we have serious doubts (we have not had any information regarding Ustinov from competent U.S. agencies), we would like to note the following," Russian Foreign Ministry commissioner on human rights, democracy and the rule of law Konstantin Dolgov said in commenting on the Lithuanian court's ruling to grant the U.S.' extradition request for Ustinov.

In particular, Moscow is concerned about the U.S. practice of sending extradition requests for Russian citizens to third countries and the exterritorial application of U.S. laws to them, he said.

"We reaffirm our position that the exterritorial application of U.S. law to Russian citizens, including their arrests in third countries and their further extradition to the U.S., where, as the record shows, justice is not guaranteed for them, is unacceptable," Dolgov said.

The Vilnius District Court ruled on Monday to grant the Prosecutor General's Office request on extraditing Ustinov to the U.S. for his criminal prosecution in this country.

Lithuania received a request for legal assistance from the U.S. in June on extraditing the 47-year-old Russian so that he be criminally prosecuted in the U.S.

The request said Ustinov was suspected of acting as a member of a group of accomplices in smuggling and planning to smuggle long-range night vision devices and video cameras equipped with infrared and thermal sensors used by the U.S. armed forces.

The U.S. also claimed that, having smuggled this equipment, Ustinov legalized the proceeds by transferring thousands of dollars to his accomplices' accounts.

The U.S. brought the charges against Ustinov on March 25. If found guilty, he could face up to 25 years imprisonment in the U.S.

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