U.S. Department of State
Other State Department Archive SitesU.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
The State Department web site below is a permanent electronic archive of information released online from January 1, 1997 to January 20, 2001. Please see www.state.gov for current material from the Department of State. Or visit http://2001-2009.state.gov for information from that period. Archive sites are not updated, so external links may no longer function. Contact us with any questions about finding information. NOTE: External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views contained therein.
U.S. Department of State

Great Seal

U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesman
Press Statement


flag  bar

Statement By Richard Boucher, Spokesman
September 13, 2000

Russia: Nikitin Case

The United States welcomes today's ruling of the Presidium of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation to reject an appeal by the Russian General Procurator to reopen espionage charges against Aleksandr Nikitin.

Mr. Nikitin is a renowned environmental and human rights activist who has done valuable research exposing the dangers posed to the environment by the Russian Navy's handling of nuclear materials. Mr. Nikitin's research highlighted the environmental and health risks posed by the Northern fleet's dumping of nuclear materials and other debris along the Kola Peninsula. The court's ruling will help strengthen the rule of law, due process, and freedom of expression in Russia. It also affirms the role of non-governmental organizations (NGO) in creating a civil society.

This case has raised considerable questions about manipulation of the Russian legal system to harass government critics. Over the last four years, prosecutors have filed eight different sets of charges and tried Nikitin twice without convicting him.

The United States has followed this case closely over the past four years. The President, the Vice President and the Secretary have repeatedly discussed this case in their bilateral meetings with Russian officials, and Mr. Nikitin has twice met with Department and White House officials during visits to Washington, together with his colleagues at the Bellona Foundation, a Norwegian NGO.

[end of document]

flag  bar

Press Statements Index | European Affairs | Department of State | Secretary of State