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Combating radioactive offenses

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, June 1
The head of Georgia’s State Security Service (SSS) says that since August last year, his body seized radioactive materials in four different cases.

Head of SSS Vakhtang Gomelauri stated this at the May 30 Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (NBRN) Science and Consequence Management World Congress, which was held for the second time in Georgia and which brought together high ranking officials from 30 countries and international organisations, CBRN experts and scientists.

In his speech, Gomelauri highlighted the current situation existing in the region in terms of CBRN threats and spoke about challenges that Georgia faces.

Gomelauri said that as a result of the current situation’s assessment, the Georgian Government elaborated a strategic, systematic plan in terms of applying strict Security measures to affectively combat radioactive challenges.

“Every object or place that may contain a risk or threat is under Government control and monitoring. The Government of Georgia fully realises that due to our transit function and a neighborhood with conflict zones, the country faces the risk of illegal smuggling of the above-mentioned material, as well as Georgia being at risk of becoming a transit country,” Gomelauri said.

Gomelauri continued and stated that Georgia has made effective steps in the CBRN field and achieved important success for which it was praised by its American and foreign allies.

He said the Government has elaborated on a “unique approach” in that the Interagency Coordination Board has been established under the chairmanship of State Security Service of Georgia, and a relevant strategy and action plan has been devised with the support of Georgia’s American and European partners.

The Minister highlighted the importance of international cooperation to effectively combat radioactive threats.

The US Ambassador to Georgia, Ian Kelly, thanked the conference organisers and Government of Georgia for hard work and dedication, as well as for organising the event for the second time in three years.

The Ambassador stressed that “Georgia is a leader in detecting CBRN threats and strategy development”.

The Congress, which opened on May 30, was scheduled to finish on June 2. The venue is the Radisson Hotel in Georgia’s capital of Tbilisi.