U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the United States of America and Ukrain vow to work together to prevent nuclear proliferation as both countries today signed the Memorandum of Understanding on nuclear security cooperation
At the signing ceremony, Ms. Clinton announced that the United States and Ukraine take another step in the strategic partnership like advancing their shared interests in making the world safer and more secure.
“Ridding the world of nuclear weapons is a priority for both of our countries. And at last year’s Nuclear Security Summit, both President Yanukovych and President Obama vowed to work together to prevent proliferation and to secure all vulnerable nuclear materials. And in fact, President Yanukovych announced Ukraine’s decision to get rid of all of its stocks of highly enriched uranium by March 2012, when the next Nuclear Security Summit will convene.” -Ms. Clinton
She highlighted that the United States matched that old commitment from Ukraine with commitments of its own. She reported that the U.S. government is providing Ukraine with financial and technical assistance to modernize its civil nuclear research facilities. It is helping convert those facilities so they operate on safer low enrichment uranium fuel. The United States is also building a state-of-the-art neutron source facility in Ukraine, where scientists will be able to expand their nuclear research and produce more than 50 different medical isotopes to treat cancer and other diseases.
“At present, these are isotopes that Ukraine must import from other countries today. The United States is committed to meet all agreed milestones for construction of the neutron source facility by March 2012 and to provide a fully operational facility by 2014.” -Ms. Clinton
She noted that the Memorandum of Understanding they have just signed formalizes their intent to fully implement the commitments their presidents made last year. She said it is it’s fair to say they have already made significant progress.
“Ukraine has 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. 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.” -Ms. Clinton
She emphasized that the United States is very committed to democratic progress continuing in Ukraine. She said it is vital that the government avoid any actions that could undermine democracy or the rule of law or political participation and competition.
“We believe that Ukraine stands at the cusp of achieving a stable, functioning democracy that will advance its prosperity and security, that will strengthen its relations with its partners and neighbors, and provide greater opportunities for Ukrainian citizens.” -Ms. Clinton