Russia shields smuggler scientist

Russia is stonewalling international investigations into a nuclear smuggling case in Czechoslovakia, complain Czech and Western nuclear regulatory authorities. On December 14, 1994, 6 pounds of highly enriched uranium-235 were seized in Prague. Acting on a tipoff, Czech police charged 3 men -- a Russian, a Belorussian and a Czech nuclear scientist -- with illegal possession of radioactive material.

The case has not moved forward, say Czech authorities, because their request for a check on the Russian scientist has been met with meaningful silence. Meanwhile, the Czech case has given Western and European authorities another opportunity to engage in hearty Russia-bashing.