Russian executive tied to Turkish nuclear plant charged with espionage

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A view of the construction site of Turkey's first nuclear power plant 'Akkuyu', pictured during the opening ceremony in the Mediterranean Mersin region on April 3, 2018. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin launched the construction of the $20 billion dollar Akkuyu nuclear power plant though a video link from Ankara where Putin is on an official visit. / AFP PHOTO / DOGAN NEWS AGENCY / Ibrahim MESE / Turkey OUT

An executive of Russian energy holding company Inter RAO and reportedly a former board member of the company that is building Turkey’s first nuclear power plant has been arrested and charged with spying for an unnamed foreign country, according to Russian media.

Karina Tsurkan oversaw Inter RAO’s electricity trades in parts of Eastern Europe and had links to a businessman tied to Romanian intelligence, the Kommersant newspaper said.

Until March 2017 Tsurkan was on the board of the company that is building Turkey’s first nuclear power plant, the pro-government Turkish Yeni Akit daily reported on Thursday. The plant, located in Akkuyu on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, is being constructed in a joint Russian-Turkish project, with Russian energy company Rosatom the majority stakeholder.

Tsurkan could be sentenced to 20 years if convicted of espionage on behalf of a foreign country. According to Russian sources she graduated from university in Moldova and worked for Inter RAO covering Moldova, Ukraine and Romania from 2010 to 2011.

(Ahval news website)

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