The Asian: “A Big Threat at the Heart of Caucasus”

Seoul, September 21, AZERTAC

The Asian newspaper has published an article entitled “A Big Threat at the Heart of Caucasus”.

The article says: “Bearing in mind the risks and threat to the region that come from Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) located in Armenia and concerns of Azerbaijan in this regard, it constantly raises the issue of decommissioning of this nuclear facility, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan announces. Mr. Ilham Aliyev, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, in his speech delivered at the Nuclear Security Summit held in Washington on March 31st – April 1st 2016, drew the attention of international community to Metsamor NPP, which was built in 1976 based on technologies of “Chernobyl” NPP, and once again called on to take measures against the threat emanating from this facility.

Recently there is an increase of revealed facts about the special role played by Armenia in smuggling of nuclear and radioactive, as well as nuclear waste materials. Many groups of citizens of Armenia dealing with smuggling of radioactive materials were exposed many times in the territories of neighboring countries. Some of such groups even tried to smuggle Highly Enriched Uranium and Cesium-137 from the territory of Armenia in 2003 and 2010. It is also known that the group of 3 Armenian citizens arrested in Georgia this April, previously worked on Metsamor NPP. One of the detainees was identified as a former associate of the Armenian secret service. This group planned to sell Uranium-238 that costs 200 million US dollar, to the Middle East region. On this occasion, it is once more worth to remind about the risks deriving from Armenia and Metsamor NPP for the nuclear security of the region, taking into account the possibility of preparing “dirty bombs” from the revealed sources that radioactivity during the explosion. Moreover, the dubious condition of spent fuel and waste material from Metsamor NPP endanger nuclear security and safety situation in the region, especially within the context of occupation by Armenia of the territories of Azerbaijan. A recent statement by Seyran Ohanyan, the Minister of Defense of Armenia, and by Hrant Bagratyan, the former Prime Minister of Armenia and current Member of the Parliament from the National Congress of Armenia fraction, that Armenia possesses a special secret weapon and or “nuclear weapon” raise questions.

These actions of the Republic of Armenia are in contradiction with Armenia’s commitments within the framework of Agreement between the Republic of Armenia and the international Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for the Application of Safeguards in connection with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and Amendment to this Convention, Convention on Nuclear Safety, International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, IAEA Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources, and supplementary Guidance on the Import and Export of Radioactive Sources, as well as the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council 1373 (2001) and 1540 (2004) on prevention of proliferation of nuclear, chemical, biological weapons and their delivery systems.

Azerbaijan deems it necessary that the IAEA should take under strict control and assess the systematic cases of smuggling of radioactive materials arranged by Armenia, and threats of “nuclear weapons” voiced by Armenian officials who are obsessed with revenge against Azerbaijan.”