United States and Armenia cooperate to strengthen counter nuclear smuggling capabilities

Officials from the governments of the United States and Armenia meet in Yerevan April 3-4, 2014, to discuss ways to further strengthen cooperation to counter nuclear smuggling. These discussions continue ongoing bilateral cooperation initiated in December 2007 to advance Armenia’s capabilities to prevent, detect, and respond to nuclear and other radioactive material smuggling incidents.

The U.S. and Armenian delegations reaffirmed the need to cooperate more closely to prevent terrorists and other criminals from acquiring black market nuclear material. Recognizing the importance of a coordinated, whole-of-government response to potential nuclear smuggling incidents, meeting participants included representatives from several ministries of the Republic of Armenia, and representatives from the relevant U.S. Government agencies.

During the meeting in Yerevan, both sides reviewed progress in implementing the U.S.-Armenia Joint Action Plan, signed in July 2008. Within this framework, both sides shared information on current nuclear smuggling threats and trends, and discussed best practices in the areas of nuclear detection, nuclear forensics, law enforcement investigations, and other tools to prevent, detect, and respond to incidents of nuclear smuggling. These discussions provide a platform for continued cooperation between the United States and Armenia to strengthen capabilities to investigate and successfully prosecute nuclear smugglers.

Seizures of potentially-dangerous  nuclear material in the region in 2010 and 2011  highlighted the need for enhanced cooperation to counter nuclear smuggling. The threat posed to regional and global security by the potential smuggling of nuclear material is best met through joint cooperation. The United States works with partner governments, including Armenia, to strengthen counter nuclear smuggling capabilities in a comprehensive manner, including by focusing on information collection and analysis, law enforcement, and technical reach-back—all capabilities that have proven successful in detecting past nuclear smuggling networks and arresting criminals involved in most known cases.

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