US, Armenia to upgrade Armenian capabilities against nuclear smuggling

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The United States and Armenia have agreed to cooperate against the smuggling of nuclear and radioactive materials.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian signed the agreement in what is called a "joint action plan" that makes the cooperation activities official.

The document was signed Monday at the State Department and establishes a 28-step program to increase Armenia's abilities to prevent, detect and respond to attempts at smuggling dangerous nuclear materials.

In June 2003, authorities in Armenia's neighbor Georgia arrested an individual trying to smuggle six ounces of highly enriched uranium into Armenia. Such trafficking surged as the Soviet Union broke apart in the early 1990s.

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