Russia is ready to exchange the Ukrainian director and political prisoner Oleg Sentsov for the Russians convicted in the US Viktor Bout and Konstantin Yaroshenko, as well as Maria Butina, who is under arrest. This is reported by Novaya Gazeta referring to a source close to the negotiations on the exchange of prisoners between Ukraine and the Russian Federation.
According to the source, the Kremlin is ready to discuss the exchange of Oleg Sentsov directly with Washington. Ukraine will not be a party to the negotiations.
It is also reported that the official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Maria Zakharova informed the publication that she "does not know" on such an initiative.
Viktor Bout is a Russian entrepreneur, convicted in 2012 in the United States for 25 years in prison for intending to illegally trade in arms and support terrorism. Konstantin Yaroshenko was arrested on May 28, 2010 in Liberia by officers of the republic's special services on charges of preparing for transportation of a large batch of cocaine. Then the pilot was deported to the United States. On September 7, 2011, the US Court for the Southern District of New York City prepared Yaroshenko to 20 years in prison, finding him guilty of conspiracy to smuggle a large consignment of drugs, some of which were destined for sale in the United States.
On July 15, 2018 a Russian citizen Maria Butina was detained in Washington on suspicion of trying to influence US policy on the orders of a high-ranking official from the Kremlin. She was officially charged on two counts - in collusion with the purpose of working as a foreign agent and in acting as a foreign agent without proper registration.