A Nuclear Joke on Saakashvili14.03.2012 | 15:24
Rumors about Georgian's nuclear program, as expected, proved to be a canard. Anyone who posted this information on the CNN blog admitted later that he wanted to make a joke. And the joke had success. Ministry of Energy of Georgia had to explain that Georgia has no even a full-fledged peace atom, not saying about military atom. The Georgian military expert George Melitauri told GTmes about the prospects of Georgia's military industry.
In early March, blogger isaactom posted stunning news. Allegedly, Mikhail Saakashvili was deploying nuclear program at the military factory "Delta" in the Georgian city of Rustavi. According to the author, the Georgian authorities to declare the peaceful nature of their nuclear program, but they were actually trying to develop nuclear weapons.
Mariam Valiashvili, Deputy Minister for Energy, had to explain this information to the media. Mrs. Valiashvili told that today's Georgia has no possibility to create a peace nuclear atom, not saying about atomic bomb. "In terms of energy security, Georgia is one of the most advanced countries. This is confirmed by the United States and the IAEA", Mrs. Valiashvili told reporters. According to her, the advanced position of Georgia is explained by the fact that the country "has no need for nuclear power plants, not saying about an ability to build them".
In fact, Georgia is likely to become a base for attacks on Iran. The U.S. is increasing its military presence in the Caucasus by leaps and bounds. Military plant "Delta" near Rustavi really exists, and really produces a weapon. The question is whether it is combat-ready and able to threaten anyone in the next few years. George Melitauri, military expert of the Georgian magazine "Resonansi" answered this and others GTimes' questions.
Could it be that Georgia develops its own nuclear weapons?
Georgia respects the principles of international non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. It is a member of the Convention on the Non-Proliferation. Based on this, Georgia will not seek to obtain nuclear weapons. These are the legal and political aspects. We now turn to the economic aspect. Georgia has no economic opportunities for the development of nuclear weapons, even the most primitive nuclear weapon. If Georgia gets nuclear weapon, it would become a rogue state like Iran. For Georgia, it is clear that the creation of nuclear weapons is not expected in the short term.
Why has Mikhail Saakashvili become so frequent guest at the IAEA summits?
His presence at the meetings on nuclear safety is a requirement of the international community. Georgia also attends meetings on nuclear safety for the following reason. Even at the time of the Soviet Union, Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic had a serious scientific potential in the field of nuclear physics. Research centers of Soviet Georgia had experimental nuclear facilities. In the scientific center of the city of Mtskheta there was an experimental reactor. Now, thanks to the help of the IAEA that reactor is mothballed. Georgia has no full-fledged independent nuclear program, but the scientific potential has remained. Facilities and scientists also have remained. Part of Georgian scientists is working in Switzerland, a part - in Germany. Many nuclear physicists from Georgia are working in Russia. Those nuclear physicists from Georgia who are working in Russia, have taken Russian citizenship. I know that many of these scientists are working in the Russian city of Dubna. There are only potential, not the atomic bomb project. Speculations about Georgian bomb are downright nonsense.
Can today's military development of Georgia compete with foreign analogues in the future?
It's early to talk about it. New armored vehicles "Lazika" and "Didgori" aren't the production models. But those technologies applied in their design, they are quite modern. Their armaments are imported. "Lazika" is equipped with 23-mm automatic cannon, "Didgori" - with multibarrelled rapid-firing machine gun M134 Minigun or grenade launchers. The armaments, as well as the components are not of Georgian production. Our industry is not yet able to develop something unique.