2007-11-19 06:57:00
Embassy Tbilisi
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DE RUEHSI #2862/01 3230657
O 190657Z NOV 07



E.O. 12958: N/A



E.O. 12958: N/A

1.(SBU) SUMMARY. On 3-4 October 2007, the Preventing Nuclear Smuggling Program (PNSP) delegation held meetings with a Georgian delegation regarding response to incidents of nuclear smuggling. The key theme in discussions with the Georgians included promoting a robust governmental framework to enable coordinated response to nuclear smuggling events that utilizes international nuclear forensics best practices for the successful prosecution of these crimes. The Georgian delegation, made up of ten ministries, enthusiastically shared with the PNSP team their considerable legal and technical progress as a nation combating nuclear smuggling while reiterating their need for assistance in the development an enduring interagency structure to promote response. To catalyze efforts to create a framework, the delegates unanimously agreed that the USG should send a letter to the Georgian Prime Minister encouraging the creation of an interagency working group designed to identify interagency roles and cooperation to best respond to incidents of nuclear smuggling. END SUMMARY.

2.(SBU) US Domestic Structure: After initial introductions, the meeting began with Mr. David Wilson (Deputy Assistance Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation to the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office) describing the USG experience to formulate a USG plan for response to nuclear smuggling. Elements included: I) development and enforcement of appropriate legislation; 2) creation of a common vision in the government towards response to nuclear smuggling; and 3) agreement on a national policy document to guide the vision by tasking appropriate ministries. A vital part of the response framework includes a robust nuclear forensics program. Wilson described the importance of governmental requirements for such a program, emphasizing the need for an end-to end process (detection to prosecution),a robust legal process, dedicated forensics facilities, and training of officials. At the conclusion of this first portion, Wilson described the creation of necessary legislation, the development of a common intergovernmental vision and the creation of supporting policy documents. Implementation relies on interagency working groups whom are given the authority to establish national frameworks. This section concluded with the Georgian's inquiring as to how the USG has created such interagency groups and what Georgia should do as they wait to establish such groups.

3.(SBU) Georgian Structure: Each agency present described their roles and responsibilities in responding to incidents of nuclear smuggling. As each agency described their respective contribution, they independently emphasized how their own procedural documents guide a discrete portion of the response, but noted the conspicuous lack of an integrated national response plan. As the senior specialist from the Nuclear and Radiation Safety Service aptly said "there are many documents dictating procedures for response, but they are all little islands" and are not connected with one overarching framework. The MFA representative gave a thorough listing of all the activities taken by the Georgian Government to combat nuclear smuggling which described trainings, receipt of equipment, and modernization of specific ministries. For a detailed list, see para

6. During the MFA presentation the MFA mentioned a plan to create an inter-ministerial working group for the purposes of developing national frameworks for combating nuclear smuggling. One caveat is that all ministries in Georgia need to be reorganized before such a working group can be formed. Every ministry present noted how difficult it was to convince their superiors such a group was necessary; evidencing the need for top down approach for assisting Georgia in the creation of a national nuclear smuggling response framework.

4.(SBU) Overview of the Model Action Plan: David K. Smith, Nuclear Forensics Leader from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, provided an overview of the Model Action Plan for nuclear forensics endorsed both by the International Atomic Energy Agency a d the Nuclear Smuggling International Technical Working Group, emphasizing the need for interagency collaboration in the forensics process. Smith's presentation covered requirements for uniform standards and procedures to enable nuclear forensics investigations that provide a baseline for the Georgians to build appropriate forensics procedures as well as supporting legislation.

5.(SBU) Next Steps: After many discussions regarding the scope of the Georgian documents outlining procedures for response to nuclear smuggling incidents it was unanimously decided the Georgians needed assistance in bringing together the separate "islands" into one national response framework. To help facilitate the creation of such a framework, it was agreed that the US Department of State should send a letter to the Georgian Prime Minister encouraging the creation of an interagency working group. While the group is being organized, the US Department of State will review current Georgian documents - including a "Joint Action Plan" - which deal with minute sections of response to nuclear smuggling. Once the interagency working group is formed the US Department of State will provide a scenario based workshop to identify gaps in the independent Georgian documents for nuclear incident response.

6.(SBU) List of actions taken by Georgian Government

-- The Georgian Government works with the U.S. Department of Energy and IAEA to identify locations that may have orphaned or inadequately secured radioactive sources.

-- The Customs Department, National Border Police and the Nuclear and Radiation Safety Service continue work to define procedures for responding to radioactive material detections at the state border.

-- After the reorganization of almost all ministries in Georgia (hopefully next year) is finished, an interagency working group will be set up by the Georgian Government.

-- The Georgian laws are being reviewed and revised as needed to implement the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials and to be adequate to meet Georgia's obligations under UNSCR 1540.

-- Additional radiation portal monitors and related equipment are being installed at the existing points of entry, as well as additional points of entry are being determined.

-- Equipment for monitoring the State border (land and sea space) is prioritized. Georgian Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Internal Affairs work with international partners to improve the training, equipment, standard operating procedures.

-- Georgian Ministry of Finance carried out the full modernization of Customs Service.

-- Georgian State Department of State Border Guards has been modernized and transformed into the Border Police.

-- Patrolling of the State Border areas between established points of entry increased.

-- The Georgian Coast Guard Service of the Border Police increases intensity of patrols of Georgia's sea space in order to detect and interdict smuggling.

-- Special Forces of the Ministry of Internal Affairs conduct patrols on the sections of the main highways leading to the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia, Georgia in order to detect and interdict smuggling.

-- Anti-Corruption Strategy Action Plan that was developed in cooperation with Transparency International and approved by the Georgian Governmental Decree #377 on 12 September 2005, is being implemented.

-- Prosecuting cases of corruption is being carried out effectively. The successful corruption convictions will be publicized. Since the signing of the Joint Document, no nuclear smugglers have been arrested.

-- Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs, General Prosecutor office and Ministry of Justice are working to revise laws to ensure effective prosecution of nuclear smuggling scams, where a smuggler claims to be selling nuclear weapons-usable or other dangerous materials, but may not have radioactive materials.

-- The Georgian side is ready to continue cooperation with the U.S. in responding to smuggling cases and exchange information with colleagues on experience in combating nuclear smuggling and prosecuting smugglers. As well as is ready to continue to report illicit trafficking incidents to the IAEA for inclusion in the Illicit Trafficking Database (ITDB).

-- Governmental agencies participated in Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) exercise planning conference held in Bucharest (Romania) in May 2007.

7. (U) Delegation List Participants from the USG: Mr. Michael Curry - U.S. Department of State - U.S. Coordinator for Nuclear Smuggling Response Mr. David Wilson - Federal Bureau of Investigation - Deputy Assistant Director, Domestic Nuclear Detection Office Mr. David Smith - Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory - Nuclear Forensics Leader Mr. Mark Perry - U.S. Department of State, Embassy Tbilisi - DCM Mr. Michael Goddard - U.S. Department of State, Embassy Tbilisi - POL/ECON Section Assistant Mr. Jonathan Trumble - U.S. Department of State, Embassy Tbilisi - EXBS Officer Ms. Sarah Macdonald - U.S. Department of State - National Security Analyst Participants from the Government of Georgia: Mr. Irakli Kakhidze - National Security Council of Georgia - Department for State Security, Senior Councilor Ms. Nestan Bejanishvili - Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Department for Security Policy and Euro Atlantic Integration, New Threats and Arms Control Division, Third Secretary Mr. David Akhvlediani - Ministry of Interior Affairs, Border Police, International and Legal Affairs Office, Deputy Head Ms. Natalia Urotadze - Ministry of Justice - Department of Legislation, Division for Draft Lows Examination, Councilor Mr. David Kalatozishvili - Ministry of Economical Development - Department for International Relations, Leading Specialist Mr. Zaal Lomtadze - Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources - Nuclear and Radiation Safety Service, Head Mr. Jumber Mamasakhlisi - Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources - Nuclear and Radiation Safety Service, Senior Specialist Mr. Giorgi Kobeshavidze - Ministry of Finance - Service for Incoming, Customs Department, Senior Specialist Mr. Grigol Kiknadze - ministry of Education and Science, E. Andronikashvili Institute of Physics - Senior Specialist Mr. Irahli Kobidze - General Prosecutor's Office - State Prosecution Division, Chief Ms. Nino Ugrekhelidze - State Service of Georgia for Foreign Intelligence - Chief Field Servant