The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has to pursue a close cooperation agenda with EUROPOL and INTERPOL in order to better mitigate the illegal activities and smuggling of nuclear materials as well as appropriate handling of fissile materials that are used for nuclear plants and nuclear explosives in Armenia, US political scientist, an expert in international relations Peter Tase told Report.
On April 16, two suspects were detained in Kutaisi, Georgia, for attempting to illegally transport and sell a radioactive substance such as Americium – 241, for 300,000 Euros, and this is not the first such incident over the past several years.
Earlier, a citizen of Armenia Militos M. was detained by officers of the State Security Service of Georgia while trying to transport the radioactive substance Thorium through Georgia to Russia. In April 2016, six people were detained in Tbilisi while trying to sell the radioactive substance Uranium-238. In the same month, Georgian state security officers detained five more persons while trying to sell radioactive uranium.
“The Armenian leadership has proved its weakness and total lack of leadership when it comes to safeguarding the nuclear materials and radioactive substances that are highly dangerous to the region of Southern Caucasus and Europe,” the expert added.
“The Armenian Internal Security Forces have repeatedly failed to tackle and confront the members of organized crime - that are increasingly operating inside Armenia to smuggle nuclear materials - causing a serious concern in the regional security platform and is a real threat to the people of Southern Caucasus,” he noted.
“The European Union, Euratom, European Commissioner for Energy and IAEA must work closely with the Leadership of State Security Service of Georgia, Government of Azerbaijan and other regional institutions, knowing that Armenian Government is the most irresponsibly entity in Eurasia when it comes to the appropriate handling of nuclear materials that are used in the Metsamor NPP,” he said.
“IAEA must review its operational policy within Armenia and address urgently the growing threat that Metsamor NPP represents in Europe, Southern Caucasus and Asia. There are no excuses, no justifications, for IAEA leadership to sit tight and continue to stand by, meanwhile the Armenian fascist leadership is deeply involved in the mishandling of nuclear materials, and trafficking, that is going on in the international borders between Armenia and Georgia,” Tase noted.
“The relevant International actors, IAEA and others, must pressure Armenian fascist regime to close their nuclear plant and pursue a strategy that had taken place in Kazakhstan when the BN-350 sodium-cooled fast reactor located at Aktau Nuclear Power Plant, was in the process of being shut down. The very same protocol must be implemented urgently in Armenia, so that nuclear smuggling and trafficking of dangerous nuclear substances is stopped, and nuclear reactors are not a threat to urban communities and civilian population in Southern Caucasus and Europe,” he added.