Alexander Vulin, head of the Serbian Interior Ministry, said that neither Russia nor Ukraine had demanded the extradition of the former head of the SBU's Main Internal Security Directorate Andrei Naumov. He made the statement after The Insider published a story that the former SBU general could be granted asylum in Russia in exchange for testimony against Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, and that Vulin had discussed the issue at a meeting with Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev in Moscow.
According to Vulin, a “campaign of lies and attacks” against him is intensifying as the formation of a government draws near, and the “agent network” is doing its job. Commenting on information that he has been organizing Naumov's extradition to Russia, the Interior Minister said:
“This silly lie is part of the struggle to remove me from the Serbian government, as well as an attempt to criminalize anyone who advocates not imposing sanctions against the Russian Federation and maintaining a policy of military neutrality. In order for Naumov to be extradited to Russia, the proceedings against him must first be conducted in Russia, and Russia would have to request his extradition from us. I do not know whether there is a case against Naumov in Russia, but I know that Russia has not requested his extradition.”
According to him, after Naumov had been detained, interrogated, and handed over to the prosecutor's office, the police “had absolutely nothing to do with him.” Now, according to the Serbian minister, Naumov is under the jurisdiction of the judiciary and the Interior Ministry has no jurisdiction over him. At the same time, any decision on extradition should be made by the Ministry of Justice. The Ukrainian Embassy offered Naumov legal assistance, but he rejected it “for reasons known to him,” Vulin said.
“To summarize, Naumov is in custody in Nisha as a money laundering suspect, he refuses to contact his embassy, neither Ukraine nor Russia has asked us for his extradition, and the Interior Ministry has not the slightest opportunity to decide on his fate or his extradition. Those who invented this stupid lie are even more stupid, and more stupid still are those who pass it off as truth without any questions,” Vulin said.
On August 23, the Serbian Interior Minister met with Secretary of the Russian Security Council Nikolai Patrushev in Moscow. The official report of the meeting did not say anything about Andrei Naumov's fate, but according to The Insider's sources, the matter was discussed.
Earlier, The Insider learned from its sources that Naumov may become a participant in the show trial of President Vladimir Zelensky being staged in Russia. According to Obozrevatel, Russia offered Naumov “asylum” in exchange for testimony against the Ukrainian president. Sources also said that it was Vulin who was handling the issue of Andrei Naumov's extradition to Russia in Serbia.
The Ukrainian special services believe that Naumov might have passed information to the Russian special services, which allowed the Russian army to quickly seize the Chernobyl exclusion zone. It had been under Russian military control for a month until they retreated from the Kyiv region in March 2022. Before joining the SBU, Naumov headed the Center for Organizational, Technical and Information Support for Exclusion Zone Management. He was investigated by journalists over his participation in corrupt schemes at the customs and his ownership of elite real estate that did not match his official income.