Russia will continue seeking to secure all statutory rights for Russian citizen Vladimir Drinkman, who was extradited from the Netherlands to the United States on charges of cyber crime, says Konstantin Dolgov, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister.
"At this stage, when Drinkman is already in the U.S. and made his first court appearance, we will continue seeking to ensure that all statutory rights and interests of the Russian citizen, including his right to a fair trial, are respected," he said on the Rossiya-24 television on Wednesday.
Hopefully, "our consular officials will visit Mr Drinkman in the very near future," the diplomat said.
"We have sent a request to the U.S. authorities in accordance with the bilateral consular convention and will do all in our power to ensure his rights are respected, to support his defense attorneys and lawyers so that Mr Drinkman can be released as quickly as possible," Dolgov said.
"The U.S. authorities continue applying their laws extra-territorially, continue the hunt for Russian citizens in third countries, following which they effectively force the authorities in such countries to extradite our citizens to the U.S. where they, as practice has shown, have no guarantee of a fair trial," he said.
"This vicious practice violates the international law, runs counter to relevant bilateral agreements that exist between Russia and the U.S., in particular, the 1999 Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters. This practice should be stopped as soon as possible," Dolgov said.
"Its continuation is a major additional negative factor affecting the development of the U.S.-Russian relationship," the Russian diplomat added.
All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.