US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Washington would monitor potential US security risks from recently released Russian citizen Viktor Bout.

During a press conference on Monday, when asked if Washington considered Botta a “terrorist,” Sullivan said “he is not on the US terrorist list. We consider him a convicted felon for trafficking arms and other weapons.”

Sullivan recalled that Bout was sentenced to 12 years in prison, and his release was expected in 2029.

He continued: “Before we decide to repatriate someone as part of a deal to bring an American citizen home, we evaluate the national security implications of doing so. We made such an assessment in this case as well.”

He added: “We believe we can overcome the challenges, but we will remain vigilant for any dangers Viktor Bout may pose to Americans and the United States going forward.”

He said: “Russia has no shortage of arms dealers and mercenaries who pose dangers and threats to the international system, the US and other countries, and we are following this with interest. Therefore, we are pursuing such a policy with allies and partners regarding the risks emanating from Russia.”

Commenting on Both’s statements about his support for the Russian military operation in Ukraine, Sullivan said: “We focus on what poses a real danger to Ukraine and the Ukrainian people, and not on comments made in television programs.”

It is noteworthy that US authorities released Viktor Bout, convicted in the US on arms trafficking charges, on December 8 as part of a prisoner exchange deal in exchange for Russia’s release of American Britney Grainer, who was sentenced to prison in Russia.

The bot was arrested at the request of the United States in Thailand in 2008, and has been in a US prison since 2010.

Source: TASS

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