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08KYIV768, UKRAINE: UNODC Nuclear Legislation Workshop – A Model for

April 16, 2008

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08KYIV768 2008-04-16 08:58 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Kyiv

DE RUEHKV #0768/01 1070858
P 160858Z APR 08

E.O. 12958: N/A 
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: UNODC Nuclear Legislation Workshop - A Model for 
Future Efforts 
1. The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department's Nuclear 
Smuggling Outreach Initiative (NSOI) office worked with the UN 
Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to hold a "Legislative Drafting 
Expert Workshop on the Criminal Law Aspects of the Universal Legal 
Framework Against Nuclear Terrorism" in Kyiv March 11-13.  The 
workshop aimed to strengthen Ukrainian legislation and international 
legal cooperation against nuclear terrorism.  (Note: NSOI is an 
interagency effort, coordinated by ISN/CTR and reporting to the 
Proliferation Strategy Sub-PCC, to enhance international assistance 
to combat smuggling of nuclear and radioactive materials.  The 
initiative focuses on countries identified by the U.S. intelligence 
community as being of greatest concern regarding the possibility of 
nuclear smuggling attempts taking place.) 
2. NSOI's interest resulted from a joint NSOI and Ukrainian 
government determination that one of the priority steps that should 
be taken to improve Ukraine's anti-nuclear smuggling capabilities 
would be to ensure that Ukrainian laws are sufficient to enable the 
GOU to prosecute all possible cases of nuclear smuggling.  To this 
end, NSOI and the Ukrainian government agreed to seek the assistance 
of legal experts to review Ukrainian laws and, if they were deemed 
insufficient, to advise on appropriate revisions.  NSOI wanted to 
ensure that Ukraine had the requisite laws necessary to adequately 
prosecute all scam scenarios involving nuclear and radioactive 
materials, since effective prosecution of criminals involved in 
illicit trafficking is vital to deter what is primarily an 
opportunistic, profit-driven crime.  Scams constitute a significant 
portion of cases of illicit trafficking in Ukraine and waste the 
valuable time of law enforcement and intelligence personnel in 
addition to exposing vulnerabilities that could be exploited by 
smugglers trafficking in more dangerous materials.  Likewise, these 
cases perpetuate the belief that smuggling nuclear and radioactive 
materials can be very profitable and may encourage additional thefts 
of these materials. 
3. We put NSOI in contact with the Ukrainian NGO, International 
Antiterrorism Unity, to identify a Ukrainian legal expert to carry 
out this analysis within the framework of the workshop.  The Embassy 
Resident Legal Advisor's office also provided translation of 
Ukrainian legislation, vetted the candidate expert, and assisted in 
contacting him.  The expert, Dr. Volodymyr Halahan, prepared a 
30-page analysis of the adequacy of Ukrainian legislation with 
respect to prosecution of nuclear smuggling scams.  DOJ 
Counterterrorism section trial attorney David Cora presented the 
U.S. experience in prosecuting nuclear smuggling scams and suggested 
simple changes to Ukrainian legislation that could improve its 
effectiveness in prosecuting similar crimes. 
4. Workshop participants further considered how Ukrainian 
legislation should be amended to fully implement Ukraine's 
obligations to criminalize nuclear terrorism that arise from UN 
Security Council Resolutions (UNSCR) and international conventions. 
During the workshop, held at the George Kuzmycz training center in 
Kyiv, UNODC experts noted that, in addition to the relevant UNSCRs 
(1267, 1373, 1452, 1526, 1540), there are 16 international 
conventions with provisions that should be incorporated.  (Note: The 
16 conventions include the 2005 Nuclear Terrorism Convention, the 
1980 Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (and 
the 2005 Amendment), the 1997 Terrorism Bombing Convention, the 1999 
International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of 
Terrorism, and the 2005 Protocol to the Convention for the 
Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime 
5. The UNODC experts noted the importance of harmonizing definitions 
in Ukrainian legislation with the definitions used in international 
agreements, but also pointed out the ambiguities that might arise 
from differences among the agreements.  In incorporating amendments, 
the legislation also should use accurate translations, with one 
UNODC presenter noting, for example, that using "money" in place of 
"funds" in conventions on money laundering could potentially result 
in a narrower interpretation in national legislation than intended 
in the international agreement.  On the second day, workshop 
participants refined a UNODC-prepared draft legislative amendment. 
6. The draft amendment adds the definition of bombing crimes, drawn 
from the 1997 Terrorism Bombing Convention, and offenses related to 
nuclear facilities and specific clauses dealing with radioactive 
material, drawn from the 2005 Nuclear Terrorism Convention, to the 
Ukrainian Criminal Code Chapter IX, "Crimes against public safety." 
The draft amendment also includes a new article based on provisions 
of the 2005 Protocol to the Convention for the Suppression o
Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation, which 
Ukraine has not yet ratified.  Thus, the new article was not 
discussed at the workshop, but included in the amendment for the 
Ukrainian government's consideration.  The same protocol was used as 
the basis for recommended changes to a chapter of the criminal code 
dealing with "criminal offenses against the environment." 
7. After the workshop, we coordinated a briefing for the diplomatic 
community, extending invitations to 35 diplomatic missions and 
KYIV 00000768  002 OF 002 
providing an Embassy conference room for the briefing.  A dozen 
diplomats attended, including Austrian Ambassador Wuketich and 
Russian Political Counselor Yuriy Pasyutin.  NSOI and UNODC 
representatives also met with Ukrainian Ministry of Justice and 
Foreign Affairs officials to push for implementation of the draft 
legislative amendment. 
8.  NSOI, DOJ, and UNODC representatives indicated that they were 
pleased with the results of the conference and plan to use this as a 
model for similar conferences in other countries. 
9. Visit Embassy Kyiv's classified website: 




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