'Вопросы к интервью
Guest speakers: Evgeny Adamov, ex-Minister of atomic energy of the Russian Federation, 06.09.2005

Текст интервью на русском языке

Аудио-версия интервью:

Адамов в прямом эфире радио «Эхо Москвы» (часть первая). 20 МГб

Адамов в прямом эфире радио «Эхо Москвы» (часть вторая). 25 МГб

Качество — 128 kbs

A. VENEDIKTOV – You are listening to a live broadcast of the «Echo of Moscow», and we have here, first of all, my colleagues from news agencies and television channels, and we have Evgeny Olegovich Adamov, who has been heading the Ministry of Atomic Energy of the Russian Federation from 1998 to 2001, live from Switzerland. Evgeny Olegovich, are you with us?

E. ADAMOV – I hope you are with me.

A. VENEDIKTOV – We are with you. Good afternoon, Evgeny Olegovich, at first, we are giving you the floor, and then my colleagues will put their questions. You are on the live broadcast of Moscow.

E. ADAMOV – First of all, I welcome listeners and those who have gathered in the studio of «Echo of Moscow». To be honest, I hoped to have given up forever the necessity to communicate with mass media after retiring from the public service in 2001. But it turned out that the circumstances make me get involved into it again. Before our conversation starts, I would like to carry you back to the period from 1998 to 2001 and highlight the principal events of my public service. When I was starting my work, money constituted only about 5-7% of the remuneration that nuclear power plants were receiving for their production. In total thanks to barter, discount, there was no money and still such beautiful words were already in use, less than 30%. It is not surprising that strikes were accompanying the whole process. You probably remember that back in 1997, workers employed at the Smolensk power plant have even decided to organize a march to Moscow. In 2000, we were receiving 100% at nuclear power plants. I am aware that what I would say now may sound irritating to certain persons, but I have to say it now, just like I have said it in 1999 in the State Duma, that this all was accomplished not contrary to Mr. Chubais's opinion, who has been a «universal allergen», but together with him, and he has been a safe partner to me. By 1998, everything was declining in our country's production, and nuclear power was generating merely 100 bln. kwh per year. In 2000, we were generating 130 bln. kwh and have exceeded the highest reached level for the USSR, if we consider the Russian Federation. In a practical manner, 30 bln. mean 6 new power units of a nuclear power station. There was no need to put them into operation, because back then, we were just not using those power units which were available, but still, in 1999 we began the process of completing the first power unit of the Rostov nuclear power plant (which is nowadays called the Volgodonsk nuclear power plant). It was commissioned when I was a minister. We were carrying out this kind of works with the intention not to lose the skills to do it in the future. Having the same thing in mind, I repeat over and over again during the last years (not seeing a mutual understanding) that we need to prepare for new nuclear tests. If one cannot abandon nuclear weapons, one has to be able to handle it. It would not be possible without carrying out nuclear tests. On the basis of all that I was saying about nuclear power, in 2000 we introduced a strategy of its development for as much as 50 years and we received approval from the Government. Later, while being already a public adviser to the prime minister, I was involved in preparing the power strategy where we secured the development of nuclear power at rate exceeding all other power generating industries threefold. I think it is possible to say that the Chernobyl syndrome was overpassed. Maybe not fully in the public opinion, but at least in the leading administrative bodies. I think there is no need to remind of what was happening in the defence industry back in 1997, with strikes going on even in Arzamas, with one of the directors' suicide which happened in Snezhinsk. For the period of 3 years, we have succeeded in increasing the defence industry's financing by 6 times. I took nuclear submarines away from the Ministry of Defence for their decommissioning. There were many complaints but still, we increased the number of decommissioned submarines from 3 per year to 18 per year and, which is the main thing, we took away most of the nuclear fuel which is the main cause for a potential accident. Science constitutes a basis for Sredmash, and I am proud that back in 2000 we were able to invest more funds in science than all budget funds assigned for the Russian Academy of Sciences. I doubt whether it is necessary to mention how many talks there have been regarding the law on irradiated nuclear fuel. I still believe that it is a very profitable kind of activity for the country, highly technological, and I regret very much that such an opportunity is not used nowadays. In 2000, on industry's initiative, the President addressed the Millennium Summit held in New York with his initiative. If he were heard then, European negotiators would not have to blame Iran for nuclear fuel enrichment or reprocessing nowadays, the issue would be resolved on the technological level. In 1998 me and my colleagues were happy that a bit earlier Sredmash was not broken down along with the «Defence Eight», but I understood that it was merely an «empty shell» without economic instruments, and I stood up for creating the Atomprom, which has not been created till nowadays, as you know. In March 2001 I resigned. Waives of public interest in my person started to go down gradually, but then the USA has orchestrated a full-scale offensive abroad. I am accused of mass destruction weapons proliferation, espionage, stealing technological secrets. All these accusations have gone up in smoke in 3 years, speaking of fraud, they got caught in an endless loop. To an extent that they decided on the arrest which took place in Bern on the 2nd of May. There has been a wave of publications, unruly ones, as is customary in Russia, rather hasty, so that in a month I had to write an article in «Izvestia» to slow it down, then analytics followed, but, to my regret, it was a very weak one. Apparently, there has been a lack of facts. It made me write a second article in «Izvestia» of the 15th of August. But I realize that an article is a monologue, besides, it is summer, who would read newspapers in August? That is why I arranged with Alexey Alexeevich for a live broadcast. Your questions are welcomed. I realize that there will be private ones, but I think that there is something in the current events that touches upon all of us. And when we are listened by, Alexey Alexeevich, how many people are listening to us now?

A. VENEDIKTOV – It is hard to say, we will count up later, but I think that we are being listened to by 250 thousand people only in Moscow.

E. ADAMOV – That is what I think, hundreds of thousands.


E. ADAMOV – That is why I think that it would be interesting to concentrate on matters which are of public interest, of course if you have such in mind. I am listening to you carefully.

A. VENEDIKTOV – Thank you. I will remind that we have Evgeny Olegovich Adamov on «Echo of Moscow», and this is a live broadcast. And I will let my colleagues which are here in the studio put their questions. They will introduce themselves and I remind that this is a live broadcast. Let's go in a circle. Maxim?

M. BOBROV – Maxim Bobrov, First Channel, good afternoon, Evgeny Olegovich.

E. ADAMOV – Good afternoon, Maxim.

M. BOBROV – Evgeny Olegovich, generally speaking, from the point of view of the Swiss justice and according to its rules, are you facing any sanctions for this telephone conversation? Basically, do you have the right to this? Are there any special circumstances that have impelled you to give a telephone interview and dialogue with us from the prison in Bern?

E. ADAMOV – Generally speaking, it is a very interesting question. I think that only subsequent events will give us a right answer. But I don't think that I would violate the truth by saying that, in my opinion, any person being here has the right to communicate with his lawyers, the right to communicate with judges, with any justice on the whole. I trust the people are the superior judge. With your help, I am addressing to the people.

A. VENEDIKTOV – Thank you. Here is our next colleague.

D. NOVIKOV – Evgeny Olegovich, this is Dmitriy Novikov from the NTV television company. As soon as you got arrested, some hotheads in the State Duma were urging to assassinate you as a bearer of State secrets. Could you tell, for all the time while you are in prison, have there been any attempts of foreign special services to test you for secret firmness?

E. ADAMOV – I have already expressed my opinion on these statements being heard in the State Duma in the newspaper article. I think that a delegate who has showed off in such a way would probably be remembered in the history only associated with this proposal. In my opinion, it was his only remarkable deed as a delegate. The conditions here are absolutely normal; no person is admitted to me unless, in the first place, his visit corresponds to my desire, and, in the second place, there is an arrangement with lawyers. There were no people from special services here, even our ambassador, during his visit, had to pass through a metal finder frame, to check whether or not he had been carrying anything prohibited.

D. NOVIKOV – Evgeny Olegovich, you are 66 years old now, and in case you would be extradited to the USA where, say, psychotropic agents or medicaments might be used during examinations, there might even be attempts to subject you to tortures. Can you guarantee not to reveal the State secrets?

E. ADAMOV – Dmitriy, you are putting a question which, in my opinion, should interest, trouble, I would even say, not to interest, but to trouble – first of all those in Switzerland who would be making this decision, taking into consideration what you have just said. Because the American justice, if it is concerned with prosecution regarding criminal cases to such an extent, had a perfect possibility to have me as a free man. The negotiations for the terms on which I may stand trial in the USA began in March, and I want to stand such trial and to participate personally in refutation of a totally absurd accusation, which had been brought against me. But they were not willing to discuss these procedures; apparently, my presence in court doesn't suit them. Moreover, I even think that they are aware of the fact that they would fail in this suit and after that I would simply return to Russia. They need me in handcuffs, forcedly delivered. It is possible that my lawyers are discussing it right now, in order for the USA not to lose face completely, because they already lost it, having promised not to put under arrest prior to a trial, to handle everything «with dignity», as it is said in English. Now we see what this dignity is worth. Maybe it would even be possible to avoid one night in prison, because their procedure implies that one has to report to the judge. The judge asks you whether or not you plead guilty. Naturally, you express your opinion on this accusation and after that you are staying at large waiting for a trial to take place for a long time, not less than 9 months. But even if this night would have to be spent in prison, there would be all those problems that you, Dmitriy, are talking about. I think that the ones who have to make a decision here are aware that I, you have said that I am 66 years old, having been brought up in a soviet country, have a mentality different from that of Americans. For them, family is number one, as well as their personal interests, then goes their work, and only after that goes the state. I have been brought up in a different environment. For me, the interests of the state, of work, of my work-team are number one. I don't have many chances to prevent all that you were speaking of, but I will use all these chances 100%, to make it not happen.

A. VENEDIKTOV – I remind that this is Evgeny Olegovich Adamov, who was heading the ministry of atomic energy from 1998 to 2001, in a live broadcast on «Echo of Moscow», it is 6:20 p.m. in Moscow now. Our colleagues, journalists, are in the studio. Next question, please.

B. GEVORKYAN – This is «Interfax» agency, my name is Boris Gevorkyan, good afternoon, Evgeny Olegovich.

E. ADAMOV – Good afternoon, Boris.

B. GEVORKYAN – Evgeny Olegovich, I have a question regarding your recent decision to agree for a simplified procedure of extradition to Russia. As is well known, General Office of Public Prosecutor of Russia strives for your extradition. You were refusing this procedure earlier. However, this time you have agreed. How do you explain a change in your position? Thank you.

E. ADAMOV – Boris, I am sorry, but it seems that apparently you were not following the news carefully. In order to depart for the USA, I would have had just to say, the next day I found myself in this prison, that I agree for a simplified procedure of extradition to the USA, then report to the judge and confirm it. And probably in two or three days, they told me that «Gulf stream» was here, Department of Justice of the USA, and I would have been there. I considered and I consider it now that my arresting me was illegal, and it was confirmed by the court of first appearance; unfortunately, the court of appellate jurisdiction disagreed. Therefore, I was acting accordingly, considering, that I have a right to return as a free man. Where to return to, I was saying it on the 2nd, on the 3rd, on the 4th, in a month, I was saying the same thing: return to Russia. The period of 3 months, till the 10th of August, which is the period of my stay in prison, is the period during which the unhurried Swiss Themis was trying a case of whether or not the trial had been legal. Unfortunately, it was decided in such a way that you know about. Legal community disagrees with it, it is a subject of much controversy, but it is a fact. After this, you, being a realist, have to realize that there is only one way left: extradition to either country. I was consistent: without handcuffs, I was ready to return to Russia; in handcuffs, unfortunately, but also to Russia. So, there are no surprises here.

B. GEVORKYAN – Thank you.

A. VENEDIKTOV – This is Evgeny Adamov, in a live broadcast on «Echo of Moscow», next question, colleague.

JOURNALIST – From prison.

A. VENEDIKTOV – Yes, from prison, yes.

A. REZNICHENKO – Good afternoon, this is Andrey Reznichenko, RIA «Novosti» agency.

E. ADAMOV – Good afternoon, Andrey.

A. REZNICHENKO – First of all, I would like to congratulate you with two September dates. The first one is the 60th anniversary of the industry on September 28, and tomorrow is the 13th anniversary of the «Rosenergoatom» concern. I congratulate you. And I have the following question.

E. ADAMOV– Thank you, Andrey, I would like to profit by the occasion and I am happy to congratulate those in Russia who are celebrating endless holidays.

A. REZNICHENKO – Evgeny Olegovich, in this kind of situation, have you addressed representatives of any international bodies for support? For example, representatives of IAEA? And, if not, are you planning to do it if the case is delayed, for example, till the extradition?

E. ADAMOV – Andrey, I don't think it is necessary. For example, if you relate IAEA to extradition, these things are absolutely non-connected to each other; in the second place, I think that I have enough of my own powers to solve my own problems. Unfortunately, it takes time, and this time being spent in specific conditions. As for the international organizations concerning legality of the arrest, yes, we are thinking about it now. And I charged the lawyers to think over a sequence of legal resources to the European Court, because European laws were violated. I think that we will implement this idea without haste, and it doesn't have any connection with the extradition nor does it relate to all other current issues.

A. VENEDIKTOV – Next colleague, please.

A. KRAVCHENKO – Good evening, Evgeny Olegovich, this is Alexey Kravchenko, TASS, ITAR TASS, as it is called over the last 15 years. I have a question, Evgeny Olegovich: don't you have an impression that in the affair you are currently being in the centre of, in fact, you are not the target; not you, an ex-official of the Minatom, even a high-rank one; that the target is in Russia, maybe even the country itself or the state? Thus, we are speaking of a major international intrigue. What kind of reasons do you see in the basis of this intrigue, are they of a political kind, an economic or some other one?

E. ADAMOV – Alexey, I totally agree with you. I am a target indeed, and targets are chosen in different ways. For some, empty cans being hanged on bushes for shooting practice are enough. Others have more intense aspirations. As you understand, USA, FBI and the General Office of Public Prosecutor were dealing with weapons of mass destruction, espionage; one can understand this kind of thing; that was the level that the affairs were put at. When there is a 9 mln. case which seems quite a large amount of money for us in Russia, in the USA it is a case of little importance, they are dealing with companies like Enron and persons like Bill Gates, that's the level, and then Condolise Rice and Gonzales sign documents, so this is in hope of shooting a big game. In my opinion, it is not even in hope of shooting a game; it is an attempt to frighten the whole herd. It is not a business-related accusation. Some of my public service colleagues hurried up making statements that it doesn't have any relation to the public service. I want them to think about the way Mrs. Mary Beth Buchanan named the press-release of the 5th of May: an accusation against an ex-minister of the Russian Federation was brought; the way the US Embassy has put it in a covering letter to the bill of particulars here in Switzerland, that just being a minister from 1998 to 2001, Adamov was able to misappropriate a certain sum of money. If we are talking about merely misappropriating a sum of money, and if the victim is located in Russia, then it is under the jurisdiction of Russia, give it all to Russia. This plot has been thwarted recently. There has been a flat refusal. They don't want me just in court, they don't even need a trial that much, they are afraid of losing it. They need a bearer of State secrets delivered forcedly with his hands tied. You can look for the reason yourself, the reason for bringing such people in such a way. But it is just half of the business. You drew attention to the second half of the business, and I have to remind, that when they had arrested Borodin, this story-teller and joke lover who can tell jokes for several days in a row, they hadn't needed Borodin. They had needed Yeltsin. When they had forced Vavilov's charter to land, do you remember, he had been heading for a vacation, they hadn't needed a deputy minister of finances, they had been needed information discrediting Chernomyrdin, and he had been the target. He had been in the public service all those years. And the purpose they had was to prove that he had been a multibillionaire as the CIA had put it in their report before. Look, here is the «Oil For Food» programme, whose last name was the first to be mentioned? Voloshin. To be sure, then there was Mr. Galloway, a parliamentarian from the UK, but when he came to the USA, he got to the hearings. And I think that he won't be remembered soon, since it has been a «Massacre of St. Bartholomew» for the USA, not the Galloway-related hearings. Which last names get mentioned nowadays regarding the «Oil For Food» program? Who has been relieved of diplomatic privilege in the UN? The Russians. Yakovlev, Kuznetsov. I don't know whether or not they are guilty, and I don't want even to discuss it before the trial, but the Russians are the ones to start from. The main task is to prove that all authorities in Russia are corrupt. Such country with nuclear weapons cannot be left uncontrolled by the West. Alexey Alexeevich told me that they are good at keeping records of all the broadcasts. Take Mr. Vershbow's interview which took place some time around the 8th of July on the «Echo of Moscow». His first premise was that Adamov's case was not a political, but a purely criminal one. The second premise of a naive ambassador was about how he wanted an in-depth access to nuclear sites. A couple more arrests could take place, maybe just stealing people, Americans are just stealing people; in Italy, some time ago, they stole an Arab whom they considered a terrorist, in Italy they just stole him. So why do they have to feel embarrassed in their relations with Russia or with other countries? The assertion is being established in a systematic way, that all authorities in Russia are corrupt, the country needs to be put under surveillance, under control, under patronage. And it is not important whether or not the argument is a right one. The argument for the attack against Iraq was weapons of mass destruction, as you know, they were not found there. This is how I can answer your question.

A. VENEDIKTOV – I remind you that we have Evgeny Olegovich Adamov in a live broadcast. It is 6:30 p.m. in Moscow now. I have a question, Evgeny Olegovich. How can this affair of arresting you and attempting your extradition to the USA be connected to, first of all, a severe worsening of relations between Russia and the USA regarding the Iran question, Iran contract, the one you took part in? This is the first question. Let me put my second and last question right away, because my colleagues want to ask more questions if you have time. Lately, I think yesterday or the day before yesterday, the Moscow City Court…

E. ADAMOV – Yes, I know.

A. VENEDIKTOV – Has prolonged the term of your custodial placement in Moscow, so we got kind of a split personality, is it a joke, or what? Two questions, Iran and the Moscow City Court.

E. ADAMOV – Speaking of Iran, I think that Iran understood it better than anyone and Iran understands it now that for this country's development, there would be no Marshall plan, no one would come there from other countries and bring billions of dollars for development. Export – this is Iran's development, and the basis for export is oil and gas. It turned out that it has reserves of uranium. Naturally, Iran decided to start construction of nuclear plants. By the way, this process started not during this post-revolutionary regime, it had started as far back as under the shah. They were going to substitute as much as 35% of organic fuel for nuclear power. And back then, the USA was going to assist in it. Everyone understands perfectly that construction of a nuclear plant is not a way to construction of an atomic bomb. That is why the USA had been going to construct a nuclear plant in North Korea within the KEDO program back in the times when contacts with North Korea regarding the nuclear program have just started; but the USA had been strongly objecting our doing this in Busher. We do not need neighbours with nuclear weapons, we understand our national interests in this field better than the Americans; that is why the accusations regarding this have been always sounding groundless. But, in the first place, there is a need to suppress Iran, especially now, when, as you know, there have been totally unexpected changes in the political sphere in this country. And in the second place, look at the India: sanctions after nuclear weapons test, another test (the last one, exactly in the year when I began my public service, in 1998). Now, there are no sanctions applied, General Electric and Westinghouse are scouring about, they want to build their own nuclear plants in India. This is the market: politics serves the economics. And they want to put Iran back into the sphere of their interests, where it had always been while under the shah. As for the apprehensions that Iran would be constructing nuclear weapons, this is where there are also double standards. Israel and Pakistan are friends; they constructed nuclear weapons, so there are no talks about them. And Iran – this is very disturbing. Then why haven't they accepted our President's initiative? If it were implemented, now we would already have had technologies allowing development of nuclear power without uranium enrichment, without reprocessing nuclear fuel and obtaining weapons-pure plutonium. This all can be done without weapons technologies use. So, it means that there are completely different plans here, plans of pressure upon Iran, plans of pressure upon us who are going to continue constructing nuclear power plants there. And, therefore, economic interests as well.

A. VENEDIKTOV – And about the Moscow City Court…

E. ADAMOV – As far as I understand, it is a kind of a «ritual action». There are certain terms, and during these terms I didn't receive the opportunity to communicate with Russian investigating bodies. So, these terms are prolonged automatically, I think that this is exactly a «ritual», no more than that.

A. VENEDIKTOV – This is Evgeny Olegovich Adamov, on the telephone, from a prison in Bern. And the next question, colleagues.

M. BOBROV – Maxim Bobrov, First Channel. Evgeny Olegovich, and still I have a question elaborating upon the subject of a previous one. You were talking about claims of American justice towards you; nevertheless, if we go back to the claims that Russian justice has, our General Office of Public Prosecutor, what do you know about it in general, what could you tell about these accusations?

E. ADAMOV – Maxim, I have a rule not to talk about home affairs while being abroad and particularly not to criticize the situation in the home country. When I get back to Russia, we would talk about it, and first of all with those whose duty is to handle such cases and then with the press.

A. VENEDIKTOV – Thank you. Colleague?

D. NOVIKOV – Evgeny Olegovich, this is Dmitry Novikov again, NTV television company. So, still, what kind of times was it when loans of many millions, American funds assigned for special purposes could be lost in Russia? And if you do not plead guilty, then who is guilty, in your opinion?

E. ADAMOV – OK, let's get back to this issue. The situation was as follows. They say that NIKIET had foreign contracts with a total value of 15 mln., the number which is far from being correct, when Americans are reasoning, plus-minus 5 mln. isn't of great importance to them; let's assume that it was 15 mln. (by the way, American funds constituted less than 13 of it). All contracts were implemented. The first thing Americans started to do there was trying to find there orders from Iran, Iraq, maybe North Korea, but they didn't find anything, they saw that all partners are very respectable, that these are some of Europe's and USA's largest companies. Then they applied to all of them for information, assuming that there had been frauds. Our partners confirmed that everything was executed, and this with a good quality. Moreover, the payments were being arranged only after completion of works. Let's stop for a second. So, there is no damage to partners, nor to the budget, in case our partners were receiving funds from the budget; and we have never signed any contracts with any state authorities. I have made an example in my article. Say, the Department of Justice of the USA buys a BMW, this BMW being assembled in Bavaria, and the Department of Justice pays the dealer. This dealer may, according to directions from concern's management, transfer these funds to suppliers in Southern Africa, where dashboards for BMWs are made, instead of transferring the funds to Bavaria. And here starts the investigation. If you guys want to investigate, come to Russia, because all this took place here. By the way, my lawyers, after a 1-year work, saw that all executors had received their money, and they invited those «investigators-persecutors» to come to Russia, to see everything for themselves so that everything would become clear, why in the 90s direct transfers were by no means the best way to get the money to the executors. They didn't come; there was no answer to the invitation. Moreover, in 2004 they sent an inquiry to Russia, an official inquiry of the Department of Justice concerning legal redress, an inquiry 100 pages long, with any kinds of questions except the question whether or not the executors in performance of contracts have received the money. And instead of it, there is an arrest. And we already discussed everything that might follow. So, if one wants to discuss the economic situation, the situation when there was a shortage by 36 times in budgetary funds for the institute I was talking about, when the power plants could not make their payments, when it was impossible to transfer money to our banks, to our taxation system, and still we could get 100% of the funds to the executors… I don't think it is necessary to discuss all this now. There is only one essential thing: there were payments in performance of the contracts, our partners received everything they had ordered, as well as the executors. There is no matter. And everything we were discussing before – yes, it all is present.

A. VENEDIKTOV – Colleague?

B. GEVORKYAN – This is «Interfax» again, Boris Gevorkyan. Evgeny Olegovich, I would like to touch on a subject that was raised in the mass media, it might be not really accurate information. Nevertheless, it was written that you were kind of under a pressure when you agreed for an extradition to Russia, a strong pressure put by Russian authorities.

E. ADAMOV – I read it.

B. GEVORKYAN — What could you say on this point?

E. ADAMOV – I read this great article of our great newspaper published in large editions and belonging to yellow press. I have only one thing to say: that our embassy and the person mentioned in that article are filled with indignation. To my knowledge, they sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia a request for a refutation regarding this boorish article. I say boorish because that person has never said anything like that and he could not say it, because they are aware of my consistent position that I am holding all this time. There is only one thing I could say. Lies, being put in the articles, don't stick to the ones who are being slandered. Lies stick like dirt to the ones who disseminate them.

A. VENEDIKTOV – Thank you. Colleague?

A. REZNICHENKO – Evgeny Olegovich, this is Andrey Reznichenko, RIA «Novosti» agency. I would like to ask you a question, going back to your past, to your service as a minister. Could you tell, are there any projects regarding which you would now take a decision different from that taken in the past, revise something in the past? Or you would leave everything as it was?

E. ADAMOV – Andrey, I think that it still would be absurd to make such assumptions, to assume that years pass and the views of people don't change, and so on. We have developed a strategy for nuclear power development for 50 years; some people were thinking that I was insane, because normally forecasts are not made for that many years. And I stood for the necessity to have a long-term outlook and I was telling over and over again, that we had got to have such an outlook, that in power engineering, nothing happens in 5 or 7 years, nothing that could not have been decided for today. Decisions being taken today get implemented sometimes in 10 or 15 years. But if in 3 or 5 years we see that something new emerges, we've got an outline. And we can put this new thing in this outline. Of course, there are things that would have been done differently today. For example, not declaring desire to create Sredmash, restore the industry with all its economic opportunities that Sredmash had in the new economic conditions. We should've done it, that's it. Unfortunately, I made the declaration thus, probably, having caused damage to that idea. But there are other examples.

A. VENEDIKTOV – Colleague?

A. KRAVCHENKO – I hope it is not the last question for tonight, Evgeny Olegovich. This is Alexey Kravchenko, ITAR TASS. What do you think; does Russia have levers to achieve your extradition back home? And still, if it would not happen, are you counting on the struggle for your returning to go on? Is there something or someone in Russia you are counting on?

E. ADAMOV – Alexey, I think that any country has enough levers. The question is only how the country implements these levers. As for me, for example, I am most afraid of situations when there is more harm than good. Do you remember that tale, how a bear was friends with a peasant, and they were walking together, and the bear saw a mosquito sitting on peasant's forehead, the bear slapped the peasant on the forehead killing the mosquito and, unfortunately, the peasant. So, of course, the question of how these levers would be used is an important one. I am a citizen of Russia and, naturally, I count on my country helping me when the country tries to do what it tries to do now, because of the reasons that are clear.

A. VENEDIKTOV – I remind you that we have Evgeny Olegovich Adamov who was heading the ministry of atomic energy of Russia from 1998 to 2001, in a live broadcast, from a prison in Bern. Now, let's go to the quick questioning, we do not have much time left. Then, Evgeny Olegovich would finalize. I have a question, Evgeny Olegovich. Are you going to strengthen your team of lawyers, are you satisfied with the team of lawyers that is working both in Bern and Moscow?

E. ADAMOV – You know, Alexey, I consider the facts of my life to be my main defendants. They speak for themselves, and I think that if I wanted to stand American trial with this absurd accusation and the jury would hear these facts, it would make an unambiguous decision. I think that this situation is clear, what we were talking about now. The team of lawyers is strong enough. It is an international one but is directed by a lawyer from «Covington & Burling» located in Washington. It is indeed one of the best and oldest law firms in the USA; they are in this market for about 100 years. Here, I have great lawyers, one is from Zurich and one is from Geneva. In Moscow, there is, I think, a great law firm «Gridnev & Partners» which was recommended to me already in 2001 by Mr. Reznik, the year when the first «attacks» began.

A. VENEDIKTOV – Thank you. OK, let's make a quick questioning; we have three more questions, Evgeny Olegovich, or four. Three. Let's go, Alexey.

A. KRAVCHENKO – This is Alexey Kravchenko again, ITAR TASS. Evgeny Olegovich, there is a person being imprisoned not far from your location, maybe he is the only Russian citizen, this is Vitaliy Kaloev from North Ossetiya, who is accused of murdering a local air traffic controller, this air traffic controller probably being guilty of an air plane crash which had occurred with the «Bashkiria Airlines» liner. What could you wish him; do you hope justice would be fair towards him? Besides, North Ossetiya, Beslan these days, what could you say to these people, regarding this situation?

E. ADAMOV – I sympathize with Kaloev, understand but do not excuse him. I think it is a subject of our common grief.

B. GEVORKYAN – Evgeny Olegovich, this is «Interfax», Boris Gevorkyan, I have a question which would suit the ending better, but still I would like to hear your forecast regarding the so-called «Adamov case».

E. ADAMOV – What kind of a forecast? Things like that, they always go up in smoke in the final, so it would be in this case.

B. GEVORKYAN – Thank you.

A. REZNICHENKO – Evgeny Olegovich, this is Andrey Reznichenko, RIA «Novosti». What are you planning to do after returning to Russia?

E. ADAMOV – Well, to continue everything that was interrupted in such forced manner. You know, after the public service I returned to the institute where I had been a director from 1986 to 1998. By the way, they should have thought about it. Do people return to places where any crimes were committed? This is my collective, great people, «brought up» by our great designer, academician, Mr. Dollezhal. Me and these people, together we rescued half of nuclear power first from the Political Bureau when RBMK reactors were «sentences» by the Political Bureau after the Chernobyl accident. And then, in 1992, we rescued it from the West. Together with this team, we have rescued the institute itself, because in 1989 we lost one third of the budget, and in the period from 1992 to 1993 there was a shortage of the budget by 36 times. And still, losing sanitary technicians and drivers, they found other jobs, we got great physicists, specialists in computerization, thermal physics and strength analysis. These people were coming to the institute and were doing their job. If they stayed in their dying collectives, they would have had to do some kind of work not related to science at all, for their families not to suffer from poverty. We have not leased our buildings and facilities for restaurants, shops, casinos, warehouses, and offices. Everything is alive and working. We were able to build manufacturing facilities and additional research labs. And the main thing is that every single month we were paying people their salary and this during the period when in some industries people were not receiving wages for years. We provided medical services, the best dentist in Moscow, Professor Chilikin, works in our institute; he has the best dental surgery in Moscow, where our employees receive the best services for half their market price. There are many consultants there who can hospitalise patients if necessary. We were even distributing apartments during that period. Not always for free, sometimes in the form of an interest-free credit. The middle class issue is often discussed in Russia, and we have brought up this middle class in NIKIET. NIKIET's elite is exactly the middle class.

A. VENEDIKTOV – Evgeny Olegovich, there is one more question, one from my colleague from NTV, and then you would talk about anything that was not covered by us.

D. NOVIKOV – And in the end, Evgeny Olegovich, this Dmitry Novikov, NTV television company. Could you describe us how you are standing now, as far as we understand, by the telephone booth, on your way for a walk or dinner? Are there guards around, or there aren't, what are the conditions this secret press conference takes place in, the conference not interrupted yet?

A. VENEDIKTOV – He regrets not being able to send a camera in, do you see his sparkling eyes?

E. ADAMOV — You know, this is the only public telephone and it is here on the ground floor of this institution, indeed, and there are no guards standing around me and listening to what I am saying. Although, I guess, the conversation is being recorded. But everything is quiet enough. Speaking about the conditions here, look what the «MK» is writing about it, divide their information by 10, as usual, and you would get a rough approximation. There is no refrigerator, and what else have they written… No shower, too. There is a TV-set, the food is very good, director of the prison is a woman, a charming, intelligent one, speaking several languages, now she is studying the Arabic language, because there are many people from Arab states here. That's the way it is here.

A. VENEDIKTOV – I remind you that we have Evgeny Olegovich Adamov, in a live broadcast of «Echo of Moscow» from a prison in Bern. Evgeny Olegovich, now you have the opportunity to say anything that we have not asked you, or anything you would like to stress, I think we have about three minutes. You are on air.

E. ADAMOV – Thank you, as Boris has said, I think, he said «in the end». So, in the end I will not say, in the end I will ask you, professionals of pens, microphones, radio, TV cameras, news blocks. Whom are you giving the opportunity to speak? On whose advice are you broadcasting? If we talk about our defence industry, why neither Ilkaev, nor Avronin, nor Rokovanov receive such opportunities? And why do these opportunities go to some «party upstart», who is directing voting of one of the State Duma's factions? The faction that unites many worthy men, and, by the way, I have a very positive attitude towards this faction. But this «upstart» receives the opportunity to speak to the public. If we look at nuclear power, we do not see Abagyan, nor do we see Saraev, Lebedev, Dragunov. We see a person who is organizing financial frauds with bills of exchange exactly as Mavrodi and «Vlastelina» have done it in our country before. Why does Professor Gordon, the man who has never been employed in our industry but who has been in a constant contact with it all these years, the man who is aware of the real situation, why does this man have to be looking for an opportunity to speak to the public in provincial mass media? Why was NIKIET, named a victim, why was it not been able to speak to the public on the central television channels after it has expressed the opinion of its employees on the 6th as a response to this absurd accusation which had appeared in the Internet on the 5th? And it is on one of the Internet sites, nearly unnoticeable. If you starting such questionable initiatives, who needs that? I would like to question not only you. Of course, I would like to question myself too, whether or not I am not guilty. I would answer such question in a simple way, repeating Plevako's words, which he had said in his speech, that those of you who are sinless may be the first to throw a stone at me. But in fact, the situation is more complex. Saving the state enterprise from the state itself, of course, I was not always thinking about returning at the same time crippling taxes to this state. I was acting completely illegal, when I made privately owned enterprises to share profits with a state enterprise. And, finally, I plainly called to theft. I called to steal specialists from dying institutes of the Academy, from academies, from other industries. And we have saved many specialists together with their families. I am proud of such a «theft». You have not asked me whom am I defending. I will answer this question — myself. Of course, I am defending myself, too, but I am also defending that group of so-called «red directors» who have been slandered, almost forgotten by now, who had been appointed in the soviet period but who had saved for Russia all that is working nowadays. If an enterprise is working, the director deserves a monument today, and without any investigations regarding his actions in the 90s, the monument just for the fact that the enterprise is working. These people have not become oligarchs. There are none of them among the oligarchs. For them, their enterprise was their home, not the house they had been living in. For them, collective was a family. And one doesn't steal things from the members of one's own family. I was in 6 governments. There were different ministers there. They were prepared for carrying this heavy burden by all their lives, because a minister's job is a heavy burden. Others got there completely by chance. But I have seen neither corrupted people nor thieves there. This image, which is being dictated to us from abroad and widely discussed in our country – I have not seen such people there. And I am defending my public service colleagues. There are black sheep everywhere, and if you have found one, if you have double checked your finding, then go ahead, take the microphone, put it in your text or wherever. But if you threw down the gauntlet, be ready to fight. It is disgusting to see how the ones who had been so bold in their television interviews, how these people start running away trying to avoid judgements at courts, escape from justice. I would like to address those who are listening to us now. Today, there is no danger of a nuclear attack against us; everything has been done to make it impossible. We are facing a danger of degeneration from inside, and such degeneration's stages would be the country turning from a high technology into a raw material one. I am talking about pushing creative potential to immigration, immigration to countries where they would be making their contributions to doubling some other, not ours GDP. Break-up of eight defensive departments and a furious resistance to creation of Atomprom – these are the links of the same chain. Not to talk about what is going on in our culture, the great culture gets substituted by the pop art. Creating the image of an uncontrollable country with thievish, corrupted authorities – this is a pace towards occupation of our country, an occupation which would not even require presence of foreign troops. We have to solve our problems ourselves. And speaking of common problems, I am glad that we got an opportunity to discuss them a little bit tonight. Thank you, Alexey, I hope that everyone of those who are present or who would consult you within the next days would have the opportunity to obtain an exact record of our conversation, not having to quote from memory or, sometimes, simply to misquote.

A. VENEDIKTOV – Yes, Evgeny Olegovich, of course. Thank you for agreeing to this interview. My colleagues are saying thank you, too. And we hope that in the nearest future you would come to this studio, and you would be watching my colleagues who would be able to put their questions sitting in front of you.

JOURNALIST – Looking in the eyes.

A. VENEDIKTOV – Looking in the eyes, sitting in front of each other.

E. ADAMOV – I am convinced of it. I wish the best to everyone, thank you very much for your attention.

A. VENEDIKTOV – Thank you very much. I remind you that we had Evgeny Olegovich Adamov, who has been heading the Ministry of Atomic Energy of the Russian Federation, in a live broadcast of «Echo of Moscow», from a prison in Bern.

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