An airplane carrying Maxim Vintskevich, the first Russian citizen extradited by the UK authorities, arrived in Moscow from London at around midnight, Saak Karapetyan, director of the Russian Prosecutor General's Office international cooperation department, told Interfax.
"What looks like an ordinary event at first sight is actually a breakthrough in our bilateral relations. It is effectively the first time in many decades the UK authorities have extradited a suspect at Russia's request," Karapetyan said.
"A positive shift in relations between the two countries' law enforcement agencies in extradition issue has taken shape recently," he said.
"The UK earlier adopted a number of decisions on the extradition of our citizens accused of committing different crimes, but eventually they were not turned over to the Russian side for various reasons. As a rule, they managed to escape as their extradition was prepared due to the absence of due control. But everything was done properly this time," the official said.
Russia is currently preparing extradition requests for several other Russians hiding in the UK, he said.
"In my opinion, new instances of extradition will be reported soon," he said.
Vintskevich, who was charged with intentionally causing grievous bodily harm and manslaughter in 2005, was declared by the Russian Prosecutor General's Office internationally wanted in 2011. The Russian authorities then learned that the suspect was hiding in the UK.