Kazakhstan won’t extradite Russians fleeing military draft in Russia

Senior news correspondent
Unless they are on the international wanted list

According to Kazakhstan’s legislation, the country should extradite those Russians who are wanted by their authorities due to criminal charges. Mobilization in Russia can’t be used as a legal justification for that move though, said Kazakhstan’s Interior Minister Marat Akhmetzhanov.

«The question is not about mobilization; I am not talking about that. I am talking about criminal charges when somebody is accused of wrongdoing and has been put on the international wanted list. When Russian military drafting centers are looking for someone, this is not a solid base for extradition,» he said at the media briefing.

The official also noted that Kazakhstan and Russia have bilateral agreements concerning legal assistance, exchange of inmates and extradition of criminals.

«The key point here is a criminal charge. This rule applies to Russia and Kazakhstan equally. If Russian authority puts someone on the wanted list, we will be obliged to take all actions needed to find him and extradite him to Russia,» said the minister.

This means that if the Russian government decides that avoiding mobilization by escaping to another country is a crime and would open a criminal case, Kazakhstan will be obliged to extradite these people to Russia.

On September 21, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin declared so-called partial military mobilization. The authorities said that only those with military experience and military occupational specialties will be drafted. However, thousands of young Russians have decided to leave the country. Many of them are doing so by moving to neighboring countries such as Finland, Georgia, Mongolia and Kazakhstan. According to Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs, about 98,000 Russians came to the country over the past six days.

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