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March 28, 2012

Ukraine Promotes Nuclear Safety at Seoul Summit

Kyiv, March 28, 2012. Physical protection of nuclear facilities, nuclear and other radioactive materials, and related infrastructure remains the key strategy to promote nuclear safety, stated the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych during the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit (March 26-27, 2012), Southern Korea. Less than a week ago, Ukraine fully complied with the commitments assumed during the Washington summit on nuclear security in April 2010 by removing all highly enriched uranium from its territory.

Over the last two years Ukraine introduced a system of radiation monitoring along its borders and expanded its nuclear forensics. The latter is the key component of nuclear safety allowing to identify the origin of the seized nuclear material. According to President Yanukovych Ukraine also continues to improve its legal framework of physical protection of nuclear facilities and materials taking into consideration the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) documents.

In Seoul President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych met with the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and discussed the issue of nuclear safety cooperation. In particular, both leaders touched upon Ukraine’s participation in international anti-nuclear initiative. Ban Ki-moon thanked Ukraine for providing experts to support Japan in overcoming the consequences of the last year’s nuclear disaster at Fukushima-1 nuclear plant.

Prior to the beginning of the 2012 Seoul summit on nuclear security Ukraine moved its last batch of highly enriched nuclear materials to Russia finalizing its commitment to completely get rid of highly enriched uranium. “Such move has once again confirmed Ukraine’s long-term commitment to nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation,” reported Ukraine’s foreign ministry. Such transfer became possible through the support of the United States and the International Atomic Energy Agency. Suffice it to say that back in 2010 both Chili and Mexico decided to follow Ukraine’s initiative to get rid of its stock of enriched nuclear materials.

On the eve of the summit the President of the United States Barack Obama praised Ukraine for overcoming the current challenges of global security. Meanwhile, the summit communiqué stated that “nuclear terrorism was still one of the most serious threats to international security.”