Russia made an offer to the United States to exchange pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko, who is serving his sentence in an American prison, for 13 U.S. citizens convicted in Russia. However, the Russian Foreign Ministry refused to disclose the details of the proposal to exchange the prisoners.
Izvestia newspaper stated that this was reported to Yaroshenko’s mother via Russian President Putin’s administrative offices. The Russian Foreign Ministry has already confirmed to RIA Novosti news that such a proposal does exist.
The presidential administration’s response to the appeal of the pilot’s mother, Lyubov Yaroshenko, was obtained by Izvestia. The document states that Russia has offered the USA an exchange of the convicted pilot for American citizens who are kept in Russian prisons. "At the moment, there are thirteen such prisoners. Three of them including U.S. citizen Gennady Klotsman filed an application for transfer to the United States," the document says. Klotsman was sentenced to 10 years in prison for racketeering.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov confirmed that such a proposal exists. According to him, Russia suggested exchanging not only Konstantin Yaroshenko, but also Viktor Bout, who is serving a sentence in the U.S. for arms trade. However, Ryabkov noted he was not ready to disclose the details. "It needs to be kept confidential because we are talking about human fates. Specific schemes and names are not questions to be discussed in public,” RIA Novosti quoted Ryabkov as saying.
Konstantin Yaroshenko was sentenced to 20 years in prison in the US in 2011. He was found guilty of organizing the delivery of a large batch of drugs into the USA. He was arrested in Liberia and then delivered to the United States.