The condition of the 24-year-old Russian woman whom the Chinese court has sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve for smuggling 1.2 kilos of heroin, is normal. She continues to serve her sentence in a women's prison in the town of Kunming, report Russian diplomats who met the sentenced woman during a planned trip to Southern China. According to the diplomats, conditions in the prison where the Russian woman is kept are satisfactory. Her mental state is stable. She is trying to prove by her behaviour that she has embarked on the road of correction in the hope that her sentence will be mitigated. She is learning Chinese and can already communicate on every-day subjects.
At present it is impossible to hand the Russian woman over to the Russian side, for there is no agreement on the extradition of persons sentenced to imprisonment between Beijing and Moscow.
The same source reported that the investigation on the case of three other Russian women, residents of the Far East, who were arrested in May 2002 for smuggling 1.5 kilos of heroin is nearing completion and will be handed over to the prosecutor's office shortly. According Chinese law-enforcement bodies, their trial will start in 3-4 months' time.
All fears about what the West was trying to make of Ukraine are confirmed, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.