A new travel advisory from Russia's Foreign Ministry warns travelers that the United States is targeting Russian citizens for extradition at a higher rate than normal, according to a report from The New York Times. "Recently, detentions of Russian citizens in various countries, at the request of American law enforcement, have become more frequent," the bulletin advised.
In addition to simply pointing out the purported spike in extradition requests from America for Russian nationals, the bulletin also clearly calls into question the foundations for such requests. (Hint: They think they're shaky.) Per the advisory, "Experience shows that the judicial proceedings against those who were in fact kidnapped and taken to the U.S. are of a biased character, based on shaky evidence, and clearly tilted toward conviction." Whether these allegations are true or not is unclear, although in the wake of the ongoing Edward Snowden incident, it is clearly in Russia's best interest to portray the U.S. as overeager when it comes to extradition.
A spokeswoman for the Foreign Ministry told The Times that the American government frequently ignores a 1999 treaty in which it was agreed upon that extradition requests had to be run through the government in Moscow, regardless of the target's actual location. They cited recent cases in Thailand, Lithuania, and Costa Rica concerning contraband and cybercrime as examples of the United States' over-aggressiveness. The extradition and federal conviction of arms dealer Viktor Bout is still a sore point between the two nations.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.