© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov attends a meeting between Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in Moscow, Russia March 15, 2022. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/Pool
LONDON (Reuters) – Russia is hoping for a prisoner swap with the United States that could include Russian arms smuggler Viktor Bout, known as the “Merchant of Death”, the deputy foreign minister said on Friday.
“The Americans are showing foreign affairs, we are working professionally through a special way to do this,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted as saying on Friday by Interfax.
“We cannot deny that Viktor Bout is one of the candidates, and we hope for a good result,” said Ryabkov.
Bout, known as the “merchant of death” and the “greatest punishment” for his arms embargo, was one of the world’s most wanted men before he was arrested in 2008 on several charges related to arms smuggling.
For nearly 20 years, Bout was one of the world’s most prominent arms dealers, selling weapons to rogue states, terrorists and deadly weapons in Africa, Asia and South America.