Russia proposed the US to release any American citizen detained in Russia in exchange for its pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko, reported Interfax.
Yaroshenko is a Russian pilot arrested in 2010 and sentenced to 20 years in US federal prison for alleged conspiracy to smuggle drugs into the US. Yaroshenko denied all the accusations and claimed his case to be a “provocation.”
Sergei Ryabkov, Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia, stated: “If the US is not ready to act extensively, lets take smaller steps. Let’s begin with something that does not require dramatic political decisions. Let’s try and budge at least something, and then the positive effect of possible outcomes may become significant.”
“Free Yaroshenko, swap him for an American or Americans who are serving their sentence here.”
Ryabkov also suggested that if US wants to improve bilateral relations with Russia, it should at least return properties of Russian diplomats confiscated in 2016, when former US President barack Obama’s administration deported 35 Russian diplomats.
Natalia Veselnitskaya – official website