Commentary by Nikolai Lakhonin, Deputy Director of the Department of Information and Press Department of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the illegal actions by Washington to extradite to the US Special Envoy of the Government of Venezuela A. Saab
August 11, 2021
We would like to draw attention to the outrageous situation around Venezuelan special envoy A. Saab, who in June 2020, despite having a diplomatic passport, was detained on an extradition request to the United States during the technical landing of his plane in Cape Verde.
The practice of seizing citizens of other countries, including the Russian Federation, in third countries on fabricated charges by US law enforcement agencies has become a notorious “calling card” of the United States. Now Washington seems to have decided to “go to a new level” by setting a damaging precedent for the extradition of an authorized person with diplomatic status.
We strongly condemn these actions, the politicized background to which is beyond any doubt. We consider as unacceptable attempts at the extraterritorial application of United States legislation, including to settle political accounts with “undesirable” governments through reprisals against their official representatives. This ignores the humanitarian nature of the activities of A. Saab, who was fulfilling his mission to obtain assistance in combating the coronavirus infection. This once again highlights the double standards of Washington, which has tirelessly criticized the government of N. Maduro for the “suffering of the Venezuelan people.”
We are convinced that the desire of the U.S. authorities to obtain the extradition of a third country diplomat can have a very negative impact on international relations and may have a “boomerang effect” for any country, including the United States itself, as well as other states involved in dangerous games with international law.