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Cypriot court refuses U.S. request to extradite Russian national accused of smuggling dual-use microelectronics to St. Petersburg

The Larnaca District Court has refused to satisfy a U.S. request for the extradition of Russian-German citizen Arthur Petrov, who was arrested in Cyprus last year, according to a report by the Russian state-owned news agency TASS.

In a comment to TASS, Petrov called the court's decision a “positive turn of events.”

Petrov, a dual Russian-German national, was arrested in Cyprus in August last year following a request by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), who accused him of smuggling U.S.-made microelectronics to Russia for military use. The investigation said that from February 2022 to August 2023, Petrov, along with two Russian associates, acquired a significant quantity of electronic components from American companies for Electrocom VPK, a St. Petersburg-based firm that provides equipment to Russian military manufacturers.

The DOJ complaint said that Petrov “participated in an international illicit procurement network based in Russia, using shell companies to smuggle shipments from US distributors of microelectronics with military applications through intermediary countries in order to conceal the ultimate destination of these sensitive materials: Russia”.

“The transactions and shipments were in contravention of US export controls relating to Russia,” the DOJ added.

Petrov is accused of misleading the U.S. suppliers by claiming that the electronics were intended for fire safety systems in Cyprus or other locations. Shell companies in various countries were used to obscure the true destination of the goods.

The man faces 11 criminal counts, including violating U.S. export controls, smuggling, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering, along with other conspiracy-related charges.

Each of these counts could result in a prison sentence ranging from five to 20 years.

The criminal complaint detailed that the smuggled technology included components found in Russian military hardware — such as guided missiles, drones, and devices used in electronic warfare — recovered from Ukrainian battlefields.

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