“WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House announced Monday that Ukraine was giving up all its highly enriched uranium, marking success for a major U.S. arms control initiative shortly before President Barack Obama opens a conference on locking down nuclear materials.
Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs said the Ukrainian stockpile, sufficient for several nuclear weapons, would be transferred to the United States for reprocessing by 2012.
The new Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovich, had just wrapped up a pre-conference meeting with Obama when the announcement was made.
Ukraine was left with major nuclear materials when the Soviet Union broke apart in 1991.
When the conference begins Monday afternoon, prime ministers and top officials from 47 countries will join Obama at his nuclear proliferation summit, the largest assembly hosted by a U.S. leader since the founding conference of the United Nations in 1945.”