Rumyantsev: No political motives behind Adamov arrest

Publish date: June 20, 2005

There are no political motives behind the US attempt to arrest Russia’s ex nuclear minister Adamov, Russian nuclear chief Aleksander Rumyantsev said in Washington following talks with US Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman, Russia’s NTV television channel reported Friday.

“I see no underlying political motives in the affair concerning Yevgeny Adamov the station quoted Aleksander Rumyantsev, the current head of Russia’s Federal Atomic Energy Agency (Rosatom) as saying while commenting on the arrest in Bern Switzrerland on May 2nd of the former Russian atomic energy minister.

As soon as Adamov was arrested following a request by the U.S. attorney’s office, it was speculated that it was an attempt by the United States to get its hands on certain state nuclear secrets. Adamov had access to secret documents during his term in office between 1998 and 2001.

The warrant, issued by a Pennsylvania Federal District Court, charges Adamov, among other things, of allegedly laundering $9m in US funding given Russia for nuclear remediation. Adamov has several financial holdings in the state. But Rumyantsev saw no strong-arming techniques by the United State in the arrest.

“In the civilized world, legal power is executive and authoritative. And the decision taken by the court in Pittsburgh to request Adamov’s extradition, in this sense, is, how can I put it, based on fact, i.e. there is a list of claims that have been made against a certain individual. So it is somewhat inappropriate to draw some kind of correlation between this and what the state wants,” Rumyantsev said.

Adamov remains in detention in Bern pending the formal filing of extradition papers to the United States. Russia, in a possible effort to countermand a leak of nuclear secrets, filed formal extradition papers with the Swiss on May 17.