Russia has condemned the United States over its involvement in the arrest and detention of Alex Saab, a special envoy of the Venezuelan government who was arrested in Cape Verde.
Saab was arrested on June 12, 2020, after his private jet made a stopover at Cape Verde on his way to Iran for a humanitarian mission on behalf of the Venezuelan government.
The businessman is caught up in a feud between Venezuela, his country, and the US.
The US put pressure on Cape Verde to arrest Saab with plans of extraditing him to face corruption charges.
But Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro who recently appointed Saab as an ambassador to the African Union (AU) kicked against the move.
Reacting in a statement by its Deputy Director of the Information and Press Department of Foreign Ministry, N.T. Lakhonin, Russian government described the move to extradite the business to US as illegal.
It added that the practice of seizing citizens of other countries, including the Russian Federation, in third countries on fabricated charges by U.S. law enforcement agencies, has become the infamous "business card" of the United States.
The statement partly reads, “We would like to draw attention to the egregious situation around Venezuelan Special Envoy A. Saab, who in June 2020, despite his diplomatic passport, was detained at the request for extradition 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 U.S. law enforcement agencies, has become the infamous ‘business card’ of the United States.
“Now Washington seems to have decided to ‘go to a new level’, setting a harmful precedent for the extradition of an authorized person with diplomatic status.
“We strongly condemn these actions, the politicized background of which is beyond doubt. We consider unacceptable attempts to apply U.S. law extraterritorially, including to settle political accounts with ‘undesirable’ governments through repression against their official representatives.
“At the same time, the humanitarian nature of A. Saab's activities, who was fulfilling his mission to receive assistance in the fight against coronavirus infection, is ignored. This once again highlights the double standards of Washington, which tirelessly criticizes the Government of N. Maduro for ‘the suffering of the Venezuelan people’.
“We are convinced that the desire of the US authorities to extradite a third-country diplomat may have a 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.”