RPT - Yaroshenko-Reed Exchange Was In Works For A Long Time - Lawyer

RPT - Yaroshenko-Reed Exchange Was in Works for a Long Time - Lawyer

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 28th April, 2022) The swap of Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko for ex-US marine Trevor Reed was not unexpected, as it was in the works for a long time, Yaroshenko's lawyer told Sputnik.

Earlier in the day, Moscow announced it has released Reed, who was sentenced in 2020 to nine years in prison in Russia, in exchange for Yaroshenko, who was serving a 20-year term in the United States, following long negotiations.

"We expected that the exchange likely would happen this week. This is not something that just came without any expectation," Alexey Tarasov said. "This was something that was in the works for a very long time."

Tarasov described the Russia-US prisoner exchange, which took place after Orthodox Easter, as an "Easter miracle."

"There was not any certainty that this would happen. However, Yaroshenko was cautiously optimistic, and he obviously was very happy to know that there is progress in the direction of the possible exchange," he added.

Tarasov noted that his client is currently heading to Russia.

"I have been in touch with Yaroshenko by phone throughout this process until he left for Russia," he said.

When asked about Yaroshenko's mood and conditions, the lawyer expressed confidence that he would receive all the necessary treatment once home.

"I have not been in touch with him after he left the US, so I can not predict his condition today, but I hope that he would be seen medically and that his health would be in good hands," Tarasov added.

Yaroshenko was arrested in Liberia in 2010 on suspicion of drug trafficking and was later extradited to the United States. In 2011, a US court sentenced Yaroshenko to 20 years in prison for allegedly taking part in a conspiracy to smuggle a large amount of drugs into the United States. Yaroshenko pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.

Reed was sentenced to nine years in July 2020 for assaulting police officers who were called to respond during his drunken dispute with two women on a Moscow street.