Russia to reject Yanukovych extradition request – Chaika
Moscow will respond negatively to Kyiv's request seeking the arrest and extradition of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and his supporters, Russian Prosecutor General Yury Chaika told Interfax on Tuesday.
"We will certainly respond to a request to be forwarded by our colleagues from the Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine. Our answer will be negative because we see political motives behind the criminal prosecution of these people," he said.
Russian legislation and international law ban persons' extradition to foreign countries if their case is politically motivated, he said.
"In our further steps, we will also be guided by our national legislation and the norms of international law," Chaika said.
It was announced on January 20 that the Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office was preparing documents to request the extradition of Yanukovych, former Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and former Finance Minister Yuriy Kolobov from Russia.
Ukrainian Prosecutor General Vitaliy Yarema said on February 6 that he had asked his Russian counterpart Chaika to extradite Yanukovych and his supporters. It was announced just a few days ago that Yanukovych is suspected of establishing a criminal group (Article 255 of the Ukrainian Penal Code).