Kazakhstan comments on the extradition of Russian draft dodgers

Astana says it will act in accordance with restitution agreements it has reached with Moscow

Russian draft evaders should be placed on an international wanted list for extradition to their country, Kazakh Interior Minister Marat Akhmetzhanov has said.

Some men chose to flee Russia to avoid military draft after a partial mobilization was announced last week, with neighboring Kazakhstan among the destinations.

« We have agreements with Russia on the provision of legal assistance, on the exchange of convicts and on the extradition of criminals », Akhmetzhanov, asked about the issue on Tuesday. An individual can be handed over to the other side if Kazakhstan and Russia consider their actions a criminal offence, he added.

The minister explained that a Russian who traveled to Kazakhstan in order to avoid conscription can therefore only be extradited if a criminal case is opened against him in his country and if he is placed on an international list wanted people.

The fact that a military recruiting center in Russia is looking for someone is not enough to initiate restitution proceedings, Akhmetzhanov said.

READ MORE: Man surfs out of Russia to avoid mobilization

Russian President Vladimir Putin last week announced a partial mobilization in Russia, arguing that the country was facing « the whole western military machine » in Ukraine. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu then said that some 300,000 reservists would be called up.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Kazakh Interior Ministry said around 98,000 Russians had entered the country and more than 64,000 had left since last Wednesday when the recruitment drive began.


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