Russia and USA both call for extradition of former Russian nuclear minister

25 May 2005

The former nuclear energy minister of Russia, Yevgeny Adamov, under arrest in Switzerland, is the subject of an extradition battle between the USA and Russia.

Facing extradition to the USA, Adamov was detained in Switzerland at the request of the US Justice Department over allegations that he and a business associate, Mark Kaushansky, had misappropriated $9 million earmarked for nuclear security projects.

However, a Russian warrant for Adamov's arrest was issued on 14 May following an inquiry into alleged fraud and power abuse by Adamov. Russian diplomatic staffer Igor Petrov has reportedly said: “Because Russia also instituted a criminal case against Adamov we indicated that extradition of the former nuclear energy minister infringed on the interests of Russia.”

The Russian-Swiss extradition treaty dates from 1873 but includes provisions that a Russian citizen, whose handover is requested by two competitive parties, should be exported to Russia. Nonetheless, the USA requested the extradition well in advance of the Russians.

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