Moscow will take all possible legal steps to ensure the repatriation of Russian businessman Viktor Bout and pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko sentenced to long prison terms in the United States, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
“We are concerned about the fate of our citizens, regardless of the accusations against them,” Lavrov, who is attending a G8 meeting in Washington, told reporters on Wednesday.
“We want them to be back in Russia,” he said, adding that this issue could be resolved under existing international laws and agreements.
“We are signatories to a number of relevant international conventions, which ensure collaboration in the area of mutual legal assistance,” the Russian minister said. “I am sure we can work it out.”
Konstantin Yaroshenko was sentenced by a U.S. court in September 2010 to 20 years in prison for conspiring to smuggle cocaine into the United States.
Viktor Bout received in April a 25-year prison sentence in the United States for conspiring to kill U.S. citizens and sell arms to Colombian terrorists.