MOSCOW, June 7 - RAPSI. Russia has urged the United States to improve the living conditions of convicted pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko, who is serving time in the Federal Correctional Institution in Fort Dix, New Jersey, Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Thursday.

Yaroshenko was sentenced to 20 years in prison for colluding to smuggle a cocaine shipment to the United States.

"We urge the U.S. authorities to provide normal and safe treatment conditions for Konstantin Yaroshenko in accordance with general international and humanitarian regulations," Lukashevich said.

Yaroshenko was arrested in Liberia along with Nigerian Chigbo Peter Umeh in an undercover operation in May 2010. Shortly after, both were taken to the United States where Umeh was sentenced to 30 years and Yaroshenko to 20 years in prison for attempted drugs trafficking.

The sentence was appealed in September.

Two other suspects in the case were acquitted by the jury.

The prosecution maintains that Yaroshenko accepted a proposition from U.S. agents to carry four tonnes of cocaine from South America to Africa and then to the United States. He arrived in Liberia in May 2010 to discuss his fee with his Colombian partners. He was offered $4.5 million for cocaine transportation from Venezuela to Liberia and an extra $1.8 million for delivering the drugs to Nigeria and Ghana, from where some of the drugs were to be taken to the United States.

The pilot is being held in the Federal Correctional Institution 72 miles from New York on the site of a former military base. Yaroshenko is above all concerned about the attitude that two other inmates and the administration have shown him.

Yaroshenko has also learned that several of his relatives are in a critical financial situation. This has prevented him from continuing his fight to return home.