Melissa Arkley, second secretary of the US embassy in Moscow, on Tuesday arrived in Voronezh (south of European Russia). The main aim of her visit is to meet US citizen John Edward Tobbin, who was arrested there on February 1. Tobbin is accused of illegal possession of narcotics without the intention to sell /Article 228, 5.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation/, repeated sales of narcotics /Article 228, 5.3, clause B of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation/, and organisation and maintenance of a drug den /Article 232, part 1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation/. Maximum punishment under these articles is up to 10 years imprisonment, RIA Novosti reports. Arkley will be allowed to see Tobbin in the pre-trial detention centre to discuss conditions of his custody, Andrei Makarov, an investigator of the Leninski ROVD (Regional Department of the Interior) of Voronezh who is in charge of the case, told a RIA Novosti correspondent. According to Makarov, Tobbin has made so far no complaints about his conditions in the centre. Tobbin continues to refuse to see media and make any statements during his strolls and visits to the investigator. Makarov confirmed that he is planning to submit the case to court at the end of March.
The Americans came to realise that they would have to either leave the region or weaken their presence there. It is Russia that is filling the vacuum now