Russia arrests former board member of Turkey’s first nuclear plant: Reports
A former board member of the company that is building Turkey’s first nuclear energy plant has been arrested in Russia on espionage charges, Russian and Romanian media reported on June 20.
Karina Tsurkan, who is currently a board member at Moscow-based energy company Inter RAO, was detained by Russia’s Federal Security Service on June 15, Kommersant reported, citing unnamed sources.
Although Inter RAO’s website lists Tsurkan as a Russian citizen, Russian news agency TASS reported the arrested woman is a citizen of a foreign country.
According to media reports, Russian security services had been tracking Tsurkan for a long time before detaining her.
A court at Moscow’s Lefortovo district reportedly sent the 43-year-old suspect to a pre-trial detention center.
Tsurkan, who could be jailed for up to 20 years if convicted of espionage on behalf of a foreign country, graduated from university in Moldova. Her work at Inter RAO covered Moldova, Ukraine, and Romania from 2010 to 2011.
Until March 2017, she was on the board of the company that would build Turkey’s first nuclear power plant, Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), Turkish daily Vatan reported on June 21.
Rosatom holds the majority of the share of the Akkuyu plant with 51 percent, while the remaining 49 percent stake was to be divided among the Turkish consortium of contracting conglomerates.
However, the Turkish partners pulled out of the project in February 2018, citing the inability to agree on the commercial terms of the project.