International blackmail: former Russian atomic energy minister to be extradited to the US

The Russian Foreign Ministry protests against extradition of former Russian atomic energy minister Yeugeny Adamov to the US
The Swiss Justice Department decided to extradite Adamov to the United States on Monday. The former Russian atomic energy minister was detained and arrested in Switzerland in May upon the request of US authorities accusing him of embezzling $9 million. Foreign media vaguely report that the US government allocated the money for Russia for research into nuclear safety.

The Russian Foreign Ministry emphasizes that the decision to extradite former Russian atomic energy minister Adamov to the US "will inevitably tell on the Russia-Switzerland relations". Switzerland charge d'affaires in Russia was yesterday summoned to the RF Foreign Ministry in connection with the Swiss Justice Department's decision to extradite the former Russian minister to the US. The Russian Foreign Ministry stated that "the mentioned decision was unfair; and Russia strongly objects to the decision. The decision ignores Russia's priority in having the former atomic energy minister extradited to Russia, although Swiss authorities have been already informed of this priority."

The US authorities insist that Adamov first of all must be extradited to the US for a trial and after that may be delivered to Russia. Russia's Minister of Justice Yury Chaika says Americans are cunning when say that Adamov may be further extradited to Russia. "First of all, there are no international agreements on the issue between the two countries. Second, taking into account that Adamov can face 60 years in prison after a trial in the US, the former Russian minister will hardly survive such long imprisonment in his 66 years to be next extradited to Russia," he says.

The Federal Prosecutor's Office of Pittsburg filed a criminal case against the former Russian atomic energy minister. Yeugeny Adamov is a co-owner of a consulting company registered in the city. According to information provided by the anti-corruption commission in the RF Duma, Adamov has a house at the cost of $200,000 located in the place.

According to some sources, the claims concern contracts which Yeugeny Adamov concluded being the head of the Dollezhal energy technologies research and engineering institute in the early 1990s. Adamov's lawyers state that this case does not concern the period of Adamov's office in the Atomic Energy Ministry.

Two weeks after Adamov's arrest, May 17, Russia claimed extradition of the former minister, as the Basmanny court of Moscow issued an arrest warrant for Yeugeny Adamov on May 14. The Russian Prosecutor's Office opened a case against Adamov accusing him of fraud and abuse of office. It is highly likely there were serious grounds for opening the case. Russian law-enforcement authorities and public organizations take an active interest in Adamov's activity on the ministerial position and before appointment to the post. Public organizations blame the former atomic energy minister for corruption and large-scale fraud.

Russia believes Switzerland's decision to extradite Adamov to the US is motivated by some political reasons. Russia fears that Adamov may be forced to reveal classified nuclear information to US authorities. What is more, American law-enforcement authorities may probably have some other important compromising material as concerning Adamov and may blackmail the former Russian atomic energy minister and further even use the personality in US's political concerns.

Several observers in Russia and abroad suppose that Adamov may be forced to say that some technologies for making nuclear weapons were allegedly handed over to some "axis of evil" country. Besides, US authorities may use Adamov to exert pressure upon Russia as concerning issues crucial for the US such as NATO expansion and energy safety.

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Author`s name Olga Savka