Foreign Ministry warns Russians of danger of being arrested abroad on U.S. warrants

The Russian Foreign Ministry has warned Russian citizens that the danger of being detained or arrested on a warrant issued by U.S. law enforcement agencies or special services in third countries is still in place.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has warned Russian citizens that the danger of being detained or arrested on a warrant issued by U.S. law enforcement agencies or special services in third countries is still in place.

"It is quite real," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement available on its website.

"Despite our calls on Washington to arrange normal cooperation between our law enforcement agencies based on the 1999 Russian-U.S. Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, the U.S. authorities are continuing the unacceptable practice of hunting for Russians around the world, ignoring international law norms and twisting other states' arms," it said.

"The number of such cases has exceeded fifteen, the latest examples being Spain's surrender of Dmitry Belorossov and Vadim Polyakov to the Americans and Vladimir Drinkman's extradition to the U.S. from the Netherlands," it said.

"Believing that anything is allowed to it, Washington has gone as far as to abduct our citizens. This happened to Roman Seleznyov, whom American agents in July 2014 literally stole from the Maldives and forcibly brought to U.S. territory, where they are continuing to hold him in detention pending trial," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

The Russians arrested this way are experiencing biased treatment by the U.S. justice system, the Russian Foreign Ministry said. "They are forced to confess to their guilt in any possible way, including by direct threats, despite the absence of solid evidence, and if they refuse to do so, they get sentenced to huge prison terms, as happened to Viktor Bout and Konstantin Yaroshenko," it said.

"Certainly, Russian Foreign Ministry offices abroad have always provided and will provide the necessary consular and legal assistance to Russians getting into trouble and will insist on unconditional observance of their legitimate rights and interests and on their return home as soon as possible," it said.

"At the same time, taking into consideration the above-mentioned circumstances, we reaffirm our strong recommendation to Russian citizens in planning their trips abroad to carefully weigh all risks, especially if there are reasons to presume that U.S. law enforcement agencies might have something against them. This concerns above all trips to countries having extradition agreements with the U.S.," it said.

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