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Russia says Czech extradition of alleged hacker to U.S. may hurt ties

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's Foreign Ministry said on Monday that the Czech Republic's extradition to the United States of Yevgeny Nikulin, a Russian charged with hacking U.S. tech companies, appeared to be aimed at damaging ties between Moscow and Prague.

Nikulin, 30, was arrested in Prague in 2016. He was extradited to the United States last week, where he pleaded not guilty to charges that he hacked into the systems of three U.S. technology firms, potentially compromising the personal details of at least 100 million users, including on LinkedIn.

"We regard Prague's decision as a conscious, politically-motivated step by the Czech side aimed at undermining the constructive basis of bilateral cooperation," the ministry said in a statement. It said it would take all necessary measures to ensure Nikulin's rights are respected.

LinkedIn, owned by Microsoft Corp, has said the case was related to a breach that might have compromised the information of 100 million users or more.

(Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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