Accused Russian ex-nuclar minister will leave for the U.S.

Swiss authorities have decided to extradite former Russian nuclear minister Yevgeny Adamov to the United States rather than to his homeland, the Justice Ministry affirmed Monday.

In the meanwhile Russia repeatedly expressed fears that Adamov could reveal nuclear secrets while facing charges in the United States of stealing up to US$9 million intended for improvements to Russia's nuclear security.

Adamov has 30 days to file an appeal with the Swiss supreme court, the ministry said in a statement.

Adamov has accepted extradition only to Russia. He started a hunger strike on Monday, ministry spokesman Rudolf Wyss said, without elaborating on the reason.

Swiss authorities arrested Adamov on a U.S. warrant on May 2, while he was visiting his daughter in Bern. A U.S. federal grand jury in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has since indicted the Russian on charges of conspiracy to transfer stolen money and securities, conspiracy to defraud the United States, money laundering and tax evasion.

U.S. authorities suspect Adamov of embezzling U.S. Energy Department funds and diverting them into private projects in the United States, Ukraine and Russia, the AP reports.

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