Response to the Russian Federation on the Yaroshenko Case

As delivered by Ambassador Daniel B. Baer
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
April 3, 2014

Thank you very much Mr. Chair, and thank you to the distinguished Ambassador of the Russian Federation for clarifying and raising these concerns. To be clear, I don’t believe that I said – I have a record of what I said, and I don’t believe I said there were no OSCE commitments that related to detention or the conditions of detention.  I did say that this is a consular issue and that we are discussing it actively with the Russian Federation through consular channels, and that remains the appropriate channel.

To clarify again: Mr. Yaroshenko, as far as I know, has not given permission to the U.S. government to publicly disclose or discuss the various specifics of his case. We never discuss the specifics of a consular issue without such a permission given by the individual. I don’t know what permissions he has given to [the Russian] government to disclose specifics of his case, but certainly my understanding is that our government doesn’t have any such permission.

Just to remind everybody of the case we are talking about: Konstantin Yaroshenko was sentenced to 20 years in prison for conspiring to import more than $100 million worth of cocaine into the United States. I would remind you of what I said last week: the United States – without discussing the specifics of the case – is committed to meeting its obligations under international and domestic law for proper treatment of persons detained or incarcerated in the criminal justice system, and that includes provision of adequate medical care. So I can reiterate that commitment here again, without discussing the specific details of his particular medical condition.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.