April 13, 2011 / 11:19 AM / 9 years ago

Russia's nuclear chief says Japan exaggerating nuclear crisis

SANYA, April 13 (Reuters) - Japanese authorities are exaggerating the scope of the country’s nuclear disaster to give insurance companies an out, Russia’s nuclear chief said on Wednesday.

“It is hard for me to assess why the Japanese colleagues have taken this decision. I suspect, this is more of a financial issue, than a nuclear one,” Sergei Kiriyenko said on the sidelines of a bilateral meeting between the Russian president and Indian prime minister ahead of a meeting of major developing economies in southern China.

Japanese officials on Tuesday upgraded the severity of the emergency at the tsunami-damaged Fukushima plant to a 7, putting it on par with the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, the world’s worst.

“I guess that maybe it could be linked to the definition of force-majeure with regard to insurance. I would pay attention to that. It is a bit strange,” Kiriyenko said. (Reporting by Alexei Anishchuk)

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