RUSSIA * NUCLEAR POWER INDUSTRY * SPECIAL SERVICES PLUTONIUM ARRESTED IN AUGUST 1994 IN MUNICH AIRPORT PROVES TO BE OF NON-RUSSIAN ORIGIN MOSCOW, MARCH 5.

/Report by RIA Novosti's correspondent Gennady Abalov/ -- The analysis of the weapon-grade plutonium handed over by the German authorities to the Russian Nuclear Power Ministry for the purpose of identification of its manufacturer has proven its non-Russian origin, Viktor Yerastov, an official spokesman of the ministry told Novosti referring to the findings of the research team by the Bochvar all-Russia Institute of Non-Organic Materials. According to Yerastov, the batch of plutonium was thoroughly examined with the help of advanced Russian technologies that make it possible both to identify the country of the manufacturer of the substance and the manufacturer itself. Pending the publication of the official report, the Nuclear Power Ministry's official offered no comments.

The material handed over by the German side to Russia is a part of a 400-grammes batch confiscated in August 1994 at Munich airport in the course of an attempted smuggling of the material from Moscow to Munich. At that time, the German secret services blamed Moscow for smuggling of fissionable materials to Germany. In response, the Russian Nuclear Power Ministry suggested that the German side send to Moscow a small portion of the plutonium batch arrested in Munich in order to trace its origin.

It is worth recalling that one more than one occasion Germany's mass media denounced the German special services of inspiring 'the plutonium affair' designed to present Russia as a country which fails to monitor the manufacturing and traffic of nuclear products. -0-