Russian officials have slammed US ‘double standards’ over routinely disregarding Moscow’s extradition requests of suspected terrorists and criminals.
Representatives from Russia’s Ministry of Interior and the prosecutor general’s office issued separate statements on Monday criticizing the United States for long rejecting the Kremlin’s extradition requests, while pressing for the repatriation of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Washington has refused repeated extradition requests on about 20 Russian suspects over the last 10 years, including those for Ilyas Akhmadov, a former leader of the Chechen movement, and Tamaz Nalbandov, who is accused of kidnapping and extortion, said Andrey Pilipchuk, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry.
“The United States is repeatedly refusing Russia to extradite individuals, to hold them criminally liable, including those accused of committing serious or heinous crimes,” said Sergei Gorlenko, the acting chief of the prosecutor general’s extradition office, adding that “we have been denied the extradition of murderers, bandits and bribe takers.”
Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama called his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to convince him to extradite Snowden, but Putin has so far refused the request and said Washington has trapped the former spy agency contractor in Moscow.
This comes while the Obama administration has repeatedly warned Russia about the consequences of Moscow’s refusal.
Washington has also pressed countries not to provide asylum to Snowden, while revoking Snowden’s passport, with State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki saying the whistleblower “should not be allowed to proceed in any further international travel, other than is necessary to return him to the US.”
On July 16, the American whistleblower applied for temporary asylum in Russia, but his application could take up to three months to process.
Snowden revealed two top secret US government spying programs, under which the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have been spying on a global scale.
The NSA scandal took even broader dimensions when Snowden revealed information about US espionage activities targeting countries friendly to the US.
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