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Updated: January 13, 2011 19:36 IST

Russia protests U.S. treatment of arms suspect’s wife

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. File photo: AP.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. File photo: AP.

Russia’s foreign minister says that Moscow has protested the treatment of suspected Russian arms merchant Viktor Bout’s wife by U.S. authorities.

Alla Bout said last week that she was questioned by people in plainclothes when she flew into New York to see her husband, who is awaiting trial in the United States. She described the questioning as strong “psychological pressure.”

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday that Moscow protested the treatment of Bout’s wife as “unacceptable.”

Bout was arrested in Thailand in 2008 in a U.S. sting on charges of conspiring to sell weapons to a terrorist group. He fought extradition, but was sent in November to New York, where he is in federal detention awaiting trial.

Mr. Lavrov said that Moscow wasn’t discussing any swap to set Bout free.

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