U.S. official said on April 22 Washington was “grateful” for Georgia’s efforts to intercept highly enriched uranium, which the Georgian authorities said were smuggled by a group of foreign nationals in March.
Georgia only made the information about seizure of “small amount” of highly enriched uranium public at a high-profile nuclear security summit held in Washington on April 12-13. The Georgian Interior Ministry said that a group of foreign nationals were arrested in connection to this case, but declined to reveal the details.
According to the Georgia authorities eight attempts of illicit trafficking of enriched uranium have been foiled during the last ten years.
In an interview with The Associated Press President Saakashvili indicated that dangerous materials were smuggled from one of Georgia’s two breakaway regions as they had turned into black holes under the Russian control. Such seizures have come "mostly from the direction of Russia," Saakashvili told The Associated Press. Russian Foreign Ministry official rejected the allegation as “a lie”.
“We are very grateful for the efforts that Georgia has made not just recently but over an extended period of time interdicting the flow of dangerous materials out of the region,” Philip J. Crowley, the U.S. Department of State spokesman, said.
“That’s the reason that Georgia was invited to the Nuclear Security Summit because they have demonstrated both a responsibility and, obviously, a capability of interdicting – helping to interdict the flow of dangerous materials to people who do not have the right to have them… We have done a lot of work to help increase their capability at their borders… but we will look at to see what more needs Georgia has,” he added.