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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

2 Deputies Say Adamov Could Spark an Uprising

APFormer Nuclear Power Minister Yevgeny Adamov
Two LDPR deputies on Thursday pressed for former Nuclear Power Minister Yevgeny Adamov be sent back to Russia and darkly warned that if the United States succeeds in extraditing him from Switzerland on fraud and money-laundering charges, the Kremlin could face a popular uprising.

Sergei Abeltsev, a State Duma deputy in Vladimir Zhirinovsky's ultranationalist Liberal Democratic Party, told a plenary session of the Duma that Adamov posed a national security risk because he might hand over state nuclear secrets in exchange for leniency.

"The Orange Revolution in Kiev began after [former Ukrainian Prime Minister Pavlo] Lazarenko handed over all of Ukraine's state secrets to the Americans," Abeltsev said in remarks shown on NTV television. U.S. authorities charged Lazarenko with fraud and money-laundering in 1999, and he is now being tried by a San Francisco court.

"For this reason, I suggest appealing to the Russian Prosecutor General's Office and other competent agencies to take immediate and decisive actions to return Adamov to Russia," he said.

"If this is impossible," he added, "then assign special services to liquidate the nuclear scientist-businessman."

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told the Duma that efforts were being made to secure Adamov's return, but he declined to elaborate.

Adamov, 65, was detained last week in Bern on a U.S. arrest warrant. He and and an associate, Mark Kaushansky, are accused of diverting some $9 million in U.S. funds meant to improve safety at Russian nuclear facilities. Adamov served as nuclear power minister from 1998 to 2001, when he was dismissed amid accusations that he had received kickbacks through his U.S. companies.

LDPR Deputy Alexei Mitrofanov told the Duma that an appeal to prosecutors was needed because Adamov was one of a few people familiar with top-secret information, including Russia's construction of a nuclear reactor in Iran.

After a long pause, Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov said, "We'll discuss it."

Prosecutor Ksenia Chernikova declined to comment. "Until such an appeal has been approved [by the Duma], it's pointless to fantasize," she said.

Meanwhile, Adamov's lawyer, Timofei Grindev, said his client might change his mind and agree to a quick extradition to the United States but only after consulting with a U.S. lawyer set to arrive in Bern by the end of the week, Nezavisimaya Gazeta said Thursday.