April 12th, 2010
03:14 PM ET
12 years ago

Ukraine says it will remove highly enriched uranium stockpile

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Ukraine has agreed to get rid of its highly enriched uranium stockpile in the next two years, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs announced Monday.

In an interview with CNN earlier Monday, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich said most of his nation's highly enriched uranium would be gone by the end of 2010.

"The Ukraine has quite a number of power plants and various universities and research institutes where we are trying to understand to best utilize nuclear in a peaceful means," Yanukovich said in the interview with CNN foreign affairs correspondent Jill Dougherty. "We are working on it. However, we are already taking the necessary step to remove highly enriched uranium from the country. By the end of this year, Ukraine is going to have the larger part of this uranium taken out of the country."

Yanukovich indicated in the interview that the final destination of the uranium could be Russia. However, Gibbs told reporters the final destination had yet to be determined.

The United States will provide financial and technical assistance to Ukraine to get rid of its highly enriched uranium, Gibbs said.

According to Gibbs, the uranium that Ukraine will give up is enough to construct several nuclear weapons. He said Ukraine would convert its nuclear energy facilities to operate on low-enriched fuel.

The announcement followed a bilateral meeting between Yanukovich and President Barack Obama before the start of a two-day global summit on nuclear security.

Gibbs said Ukraine would complete the removal of its highly enriched uranium by the time of the next nuclear security summit, which is scheduled to be held in 2012.

Filed under: Nuclear weapons • Ukraine
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Jeffrey

    Removing highly enriched uranium from Ukraine to where?

    April 12, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  2. Jesus(the Zombie version)

    Hard to believe we have this type of news as opposed to 9/11.

    Oh how I miss the good old Republican-run days when we had $4.00 gas, 5,000 dead US troops and American "Refugees" in N.O.

    I truly miss them 🙂

    April 12, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  3. get real

    This is great news, but I can't stop singing "The urianium in Ukraine falls mainly on the plain."

    April 12, 2010 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  4. Victim of GOP Taliban

    We need a complete accounting of all Ukranine nukes. Too much corruption with the Russian mafia and selling off assets to get rich.

    April 12, 2010 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  5. What a Man .... What a Man ... What A Mighty Good Man

    This is a favorable development. I have to applaud the President's leadership on this one.

    His strategy of respectful relationships with other countries is paying dividends despite the ravings of others.

    Diplomacy takes time but it is far more desireable than an expensive arms race or, God forbid, war.

    April 12, 2010 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  6. geecee

    I suppose somehow the Republicans will make this out to be bad news and will make the USA weaker, blah, blah, blah. I don't know exactly how they will spin it, but Palin and the Teabaggers will turn it into a negative. Guarantee!! Oh, and Fake Noise Channel will get their licks in too. No doubt about it. Stir it up, guys. Stir up the fear and anger. Use all the scare tactics you can. Turn anything postiive into a negative. You are so very skilled at doing that, that you have divided this Country's populace like never before. Hope you are proud of yourselves – all in your attempts to cause President Obama to fail and have your leader Limpbag's prediction come true. So far you are doing a lousy job!!!

    April 12, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  7. frank in valparaiso indiana

    We need more initiatives like this and we need to spend more on proposals like this. Best way to reduce spread of nuclear weapons.

    April 12, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  8. Indy

    And just a matter of moments before Palin and Republicans spin this into a bad thing.

    April 12, 2010 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |