Georgia Draws Attention to Nuclear Smuggling in Abkhazia and South Osetia


On 8 March 2011, speaking at the U.N. Conference on Disarmament (UNCD), Georgian Foreign Minister Gregory Vashadze said that there had been "eight nuclear smuggling attempts" in Abkhazia and South Osetia. Mr. Vashadze, however, did not provide details of the cases. The Russian envoy to the UNCD contended that the smuggling incidents had taken place on Georgian soil.

Note: There have been a number of seizures of nuclear materials or radioactive sources in Georgia which had been smuggled from or through Abkhazia or South Osetia. It is not clear, however, whether the Georgian Foreign Minister referred to these cases, or whether he also referred to cases of nuclear smuggling which were detected and intercepted in Abkhazia and South Osetia by local authorities. There is little knowledge of such cases in the public domain.

Abstract Number: 2011540
Headline: Georgia Draws Attention to Nuclear Smuggling in Abkhazia and South Osetia
Date: 8 March 2011
Bibliography: "Georgia warns of nuclear smuggling in Abkhazia, South Ossetia," America's Intelligence Wire, 8 March 2011,
Material: Unidentified radioactive material

April 25, 2012

This article is part of a collection examining reported incidents of nuclear or radioactive materials trafficking in or originating from the Newly Independent States.

This material is produced independently for NTI by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of and has not been independently verified by NTI or its directors, officers, employees, or agents. Copyright 2019.