The Russian Foreign Ministry is suggesting Russians to refrain from traveling abroad. Vacations at Turkish and Spanish resorts are not in danger. It has nothing to do with "Iron Curtain" expected by highly sensitive people either. The recommendation is addressed to those Russian citizens who have a reasonable suspicion that U.S. law enforcement agencies have something against them.
The Russian Foreign Ministry made this harsh statement based on repeated incidents of detention of Russian citizens in different parts of the world at the request of the United States. The message on the site of the Foreign Ministry cited several examples, including a detention of Dmitry Ustinov in Lithuania, Dmitry Belorossov in Spain (he is suspected of fraud), Maxim Chuharev in Costa Rica, and Alexander Panin (also suspected of fraud ) in the Dominican Republic.
"Empirical evidence shows that the trials of those who were virtually kidnapped and taken to the United States are biased, based on shaky evidence and have a pronounced accusatory tone. Usually, they result in imposition of illegal sentences with a long-term imprisonment, which in particular happened to V. Boot and K. Yaroshenko sentenced, respectively, to 25 and 20 years in prison," the report says.
The Foreign Ministry stressed that the necessary legal assistance to the citizens of Russia in such cases has been and will continue to be provided. Yet, the Foreign Ministry recognized that successful outcomes are not to be expected. Therefore, the Ministry recommended that the Russian people "refrain from trips abroad, especially to countries that have agreements with the United States on mutual extradition if there is reasonable suspicion that U.S. law enforcement agencies have claims against them."
The Ministry's recommendation came a bit late, said the chairman of the Moscow Regional Union of Lawyers Sergei Smirnov. "It has been pertinent since the early 2000s. Do you remember the arrest of the former manager of the president Pavel Borodin in 2001? That moment marked the beginning of illegal persecution of citizens of the Russian Federation," Sergey Smirnov told Pravda.Ru (Pavel Borodin was arrested in the United States on request of Switzerland).
"The U.S. should first send a reasoned request to the law enforcement bodies of Russia. If they can't act directly, does it mean something is wrong there?" he added.
Sergei Smirnov half-jokingly said that now "every citizen traveling abroad should think whether it is worth running a risk."
The Russian Foreign Ministry has reason for such statements, the Vice President of the Russian Union of Lawyers Vladislav Grib believes. "It is relevant after the events related to the non-extradition of an American citizen by us - it is clear who we are talking about. Before that a number of countries included in the sphere of influence of the United States without any complications extradited our people. Sometimes, even in violation of certain norms, conventions and agreements concluded between these countries and Russia," he said.
According to him, it is "a certain element of pressure on Russia." "This means that the Foreign Office advice is warranted," said Vladislav Grib.