Russian Human Rights Commissioner Tatyana Moskalkova

Russian Human Rights Commissioner Tatyana Moskalkova

© Sergei Bobylyov/TASS

MOSCOW, August 26. /TASS/. The recent meeting of US-jailed Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko with his wife and daughter gives grounds for optimism, Russian Human Rights Commissioner Tatyana Moskalkova said on Saturday.

“The news that Konstantin Yaroshenko, who is serving a prison term in a US jail in Connecticut, met with his wife and daughter for the first time in seven years, made me optimistic,” she said, describing the US government’s permission for the meeting as “a sign that despite serious differences between our states, we can achieve common ground as far as humanitarian cooperation is concerned.”

Moskalkova hopes that US President Donald Trump will find a way to pardon Yaroshenko or swap him for a US citizen jailed in Russia.

Yaroshenko was arrested in Liberia in May 2010 and was later clandestinely transferred to the United States. In September 2011, he was found guilty of conspiring to smuggle a major cocaine shipment into the US, and sentenced to 20 years behind bars. However, Yaroshenko pleaded not guilty, saying that his arrest was a setup and the case was fabricated.

Russian officials and the pilot’s family have persistently requested that Washington extradite him to Russia.

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