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Thai premier urges U.S., Russia to resolve Bout case

RIA Novosti

14:30 28/08/2010

MOSCOW, August 28 (RIA Novosti) - Washington and Moscow should resolve between themselves the case of suspected Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, the Thai prime minister said.

“Thailand is a third party in the case of Viktor Bout. The U.S. and Russia should resolve this issue,” Abhisit Vejjajiva told the Thairath newspaper in an interview published on Saturday.

He also said that he had ordered the country’s Foreign Ministry to maintain contacts with both countries.

Former Russian army officer Viktor Bout was arrested in Bangkok in March 2008 on the request of the U.S., which accuses him of illegally trading arms.

Bout, ordered by the Thai appeals court on August 20 to be extradited to the U.S., said he had never been involved in the arms trade.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called the Thai court's decision politically motivated, suggesting it was made to appease Washington. He also said Moscow would seek Bout's repatriation.

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