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Sarkisian, Aliyev Spar Over Nuclear Safety

Sarkisian, Aliyev Spar Over Nuclear Safety

SEOUL, South Korea—President Serzh Sarkisian was quick to respond to Azeri President Ilham Aliyev, who on Tuesday expressed concern over Armenia’s Nuclear Power Plant during a speech at the Nuclear Security Summit.

On the issue of nuclear security in the region, Aliyev said Armenia’s Nuclear Power Plant, which was built in 1976, was already outdated. “It does not meet modern standards and is located in a seismic zone.”

Calling Aliyev’s characterization another Azeri misinformation tactic, Sarkisian told the international summit that “the clear misinformation of the Azerbaijani President regarding the functioning of the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant does not surprise me, because slandering Armenia has long become a common practice for Azerbaijan.

“They have been presenting distorted information about Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh from various podiums. They even distort the famous UN Resolutions on Nagorno Karabakh, forgetting that they were the ones to launch military actions. It is them making bellicose statements today and refusing to solve the Nagorno Karabakh issue on the basis of international law,” added Sarkisian.

Sarkisian said that it would be proper to take into consideration the nuclear security issues along with said that it would be correct to consider the nuclear security issues along with other corollary issues. He emphasized the need to fight against efforts to use energy resources as a political capital, saying that such maneuvering takes a heavy toll on countries which are deprived of natural energy resources and have to search for alternative ways of energy independence.

“Two out of the four immediate neighbors of Armenia have been keeping our country in a blockade for two decades, violating the norms of international law, thus leaving no alternative in regard to the choice of energy independence,” Serzh Sargsyan stated.

His message to the Nuclear Security Summit was that nuclear safety remains a priority for Armenia

“Nuclear security has been and remains a priority issue for Armenia. We have been consistently implementing programs and taking concrete steps towards creating a viable control mechanism to reach expected results,” said Sarkisian.

Sarkisian explained that Armenia has adopted a new law on dual-use items, including the control of export and transit of nuclear and radioactive materials.

“Armenia, a producer of nuclear energy, is developing comprehensive cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency. The secure operation of the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant, the elevation of its security level is among the priorities of our government. We are strongly committed to IAEA requirements for nuclear plants of that generation,” said Sarkisian. He added that “the full compliance of the operation of the ANPP to those norms has been confirmed by the OSART Mission of the International Atomic Energy Agency.”

Sarkisian also reiterate Armenia’s commitment to fighting illegal trafficking of nuclear materials, as well as its resoluteness to contribute to the international fight against terrorism.

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