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US, Ukraine sign memorandum on nuclear security

September 27, 2011, 4:22 UTC+3

Konstantin Grishchenko and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signed a memorandum on mutual understanding in the field of nuclear security

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NEW YORK, September 27 (Itar-Tass) – Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Konstantin Grishchenko and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday signed a memorandum on mutual understanding in the field of nuclear security.

The document reaffirms the agreements that Presidents Viktor Yanukovich of Ukraine and Barack Obama of the U.S. reached at a summit on the safety of nuclear materials held in Washington D.C. in April 2010.

The agreements concerned the secure storage of nuclear weapons and the prevention of its proliferation.

Viktor Yanukovich said then Ukraine planned ridding itself of all the reserves of highly enriched uranium by the time of the next summit conference, due in March 2012.

The U.S., on its part, pledged an allocation of financial aid standing atop of $ 60 million for these purposes, including the construction of a Neutron Sources nuclear power unit, which will hopefully be brought into operation in 2014.

In addition to new research opportunities, the unit will be capable of generating about 50 types of medical isotopes that can be used in treating cancer and other diseases.

“Ridding the world of nuclear weapons is a priority for both of our countries,” Hillary Clinton said Monday as she signed the memorandum on behalf of her country.

“And at last year’s Nuclear Security Summit, both President Yanukovich and President Obama vowed to work together to prevent proliferation and to secure all vulnerable nuclear materials,” she said.

“We are providing Ukraine with financial and technical assistance to modernize its civil nuclear research facilities,” Clinton said. “We are helping convert those facilities so they operate on safer low enrichment uranium fuel.”

“The Memorandum of Understanding we’ve just signed formalizes our intent to fully implement the commitments our presidents made last year,” she said.

Clinton said it is fair to say that the U.S. and Ukraine have already made significant progress.

“Ukrainehas already removed a substantial portion of its highly enriched uranium, and the United States has made progress on the neutron source facility project, and we expect to break ground in Ukraine soon,” she said.

“This deal is a win-win for both countries and both peoples. It provides tangible benefits for the people of Ukraine, and it makes the world safer for all people,” Clinton said.

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