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Tbilisi’s radioactive policy2010-11-10 20:31
The court of Georgia is going to pass a sentence on two Armenian citizens accused of enriched uranium smuggling. One of the culprits suggests a plea bargain and is ready to denounce his accomplices. Armenian Security Service confirms cooperation with Georgia on the uranium process detaining another suspect. Still, it is getting more and more evident that exposure of a serious crime turns into a juicy scandal. Georgia will keep seeking uranium traces in Russia. In the meantime Azerbaijan labels Armenia a cess of crime.
Mikheil Saakashvili is lucky to take part in loud scandals in run-up to important international meetings. Now too, when the Georgian leader's aircraft is ready to take off in the direction of Lisbon for a NATO summit, Georgia gets the spotlight of world mass media. This time it's not only the spy scandal, but also a trial over Armenian citizens who tried to sell highly enriched uranium in the territory of Sakartvelo.
The unfortunate smugglers were detained by accident right before Saakashvili's departure for another important international meeting - a nuclear security summit in Washington on March 11, 2010. Detention coinciding with the summit's subject matter was best publicity to Georgia.
Saakashvili is a news-making genius. Detaining Armenian dealers carrying 18 gr of enriched uranium could not be overlooked by the Georgian leader: twice did he take advantage of the event in propaganda purposes. In spring, at the nuclear security summit he stated that Georgia "needs strength and strategy" to stop illegal trade of radioactive substances. It is unknown - neither is it important - what he will say now. The message is that Russia is to blame.
Smbat Tonoyan, a businessman, and Grant Oganyan, a physicist, will most probably be found guilty of bringing highly enriched uranium to the territory of Georgia illegally.
Not long ago Smbat Tonoyan was a big businessman. He had a fortune that he lost gambling. Grant Tonoyan is a scientist from Yerevan Institute of Physics. Both decided to make some extra cash taking a test lot of enriched uranium to the neighboring country on a train from Yerevan to Tbilisi. They were unlucky: instead of an Islamist group they were supposed to meet, they bumped into Georgian security officers.
The uranium they were taking to Georgia was enriched almost to 90%. Theoretically it was good enough for atomic bomb production.