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Cablegate: Libya Heu Update: Letter Sent to Russians Approving Shipment

VZCZCXRO6727
OO RUEHTRO
DE RUEHTRO #0966 3491609
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O P 151609Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5548
INFO RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PRIORITY 0108
RUEHUNV/USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA PRIORITY 0093
RHMFISS/CDR USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI 6098

S E C R E T TRIPOLI 000966

NOFORN SIPDIS STATE FOR NEA/FO AND NEA/MAG. STATE PLEASE PASS TO ENERGY (KELLY CUMMINS).

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/15/2019 TAGS: PREL MNUC PARM PINR RS KGIC KNNP KRAD ENRG LY

SUBJECT: LIBYA HEU UPDATE: LETTER SENT TO RUSSIANS APPROVING SHIPMENT REF: TRIPOLI 950

CLASSIFIED BY: Joan A. Polaschik, Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy Tripoli, Department of State. REASON: 1.4 (b), (d)

1.(S/NF) The Russian Rosatom Agency reported to DOE officials today that it had received a letter from Libya's Tajoura Nuclear Research Center informing the Russians that the Libyan side had received the necessary approval to allow the shipment of Highly Enriched Uranium to proceed for transfer to Russia. The full text of the letter is contained in para 2.

2.(S) In a letter dated December 15, 2009, on the letterhead of Libya's Nuclear Energy Establishment, the Libyans wrote: "Dear Mr. Kazakov, FCNRS Director, With reference to your letter dated Dec. 14th, 2009, please be informed that the necessary license required for the shipment of the SNF [spent nuclear fuel] from Libya to Russia has been obtained. Hence, you are kindly asked to send the plane to Mitiga International Airport on the 20th of Dec. 2009 in accordance to the proposed schedule. Yours sincerely, Almhdi Gallab, Acting Director, Tajoura Nuclear Research Center."

3.(S/NF) The Russian Embassy reported December 14 that it was processing the landing permits required for the specialized Russian plane to land at Mitiga Airport on December 20. If all proceeds according to the DOE and Rosatom schedule, the shipment should take place on December 21. DOE experts are scheduled to return to Libya on December 18.

4. (S/NF) Comment: While the Libyan letter constitutes the first GOL action on this issue since the shipment was halted on November 25, we have not yet received confirmation from senior Libyan policy officials that the necessary approvals have been given. The Ambassador is seeking a meeting with Foreign Minister Musa Kusa to confirm this information. CRETZ

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