Unconstitutional Secret laws Embarrass Russia at G7

Publish date: June 22, 1997

Press release, Bellona USA

Unconstitutional Secret laws Embarrass Russia at G7

Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Yevgeni Primakov dodged the issue of constitutional rights of Russian democratic activist at the Denver G-7 summit in Denver yesterday.

Questioned on the issue of Russian environmentalist Alexandr Nikitin, who has been charged with secret laws under the Soviet legal system, Primakov refused to make any reference to the Constitution of the "New Russia" which explicitly prohibits such procedures. Nikitin is currently awaiting a final decision on whether he will be tried for crimes he has not even been informed of.

–If the Western democraties accept Russia in their midst, they should assure that Yeltsin is able to assure the rule of law and democracy in his nation, said Thomas Jandl, director of Bellona USA. –But fortunately there is opposition to the U.S. Administration’s cheerleading for Russia’s membership at the G-7, particulary from France and Japan.

Nikitin co-authored a report of the Bellona Foundation which describes the worldwide dangers posed by unsafe storage of nuclear waste in northwestern Russia.