Joint Statement by President Obama and President Yanukovych
President Viktor Yanukovych and President Barack Obama today reaffirmed the strategic partnership between Ukraine and the United States and their intention to realize its full potential. To this end, they committed to build upon the United States-Ukraine Charter on Strategic Partnership and the Strategic Partnership Commission. The two leaders recognized their countries’ common interests and shared values mirrored in the Charter: democracy, economic freedom and prosperity, security and territorial integrity, energy security, cooperation in the defense arena, the rule of law and people-to people contacts. The Presidents discussed recovery from the global economic crisis. President Yanukovych stressed his commitment to addressing Ukraine’s economic challenges through implementation of systemic reforms and the resumption of Ukraine’s cooperation with the IMF. President Obama supports that commitment. The two leaders recognized the potential for increased bilateral trade and investment, and they announced their intention to strengthen engagement on economic, financial and investment-related issues.
President Yanukovych and President Obama reaffirmed their shared vision of a world without nuclear weapons and pledged to work together to prevent proliferation and to realize the Nuclear Security Summit’s goal of securing all vulnerable nuclear materials. President Yanukovych offered his congratulations on the signing of the new START Treaty. President Obama recognized Ukraine’s unique contribution to nuclear disarmament and reconfirmed that the security assurances recorded in the Budapest Memorandum with Ukraine of December 5, 1994, remain in effect. President Yanukovych announced Ukraine’s decision to get rid of all of its stocks of highly-enriched uranium by the time of the next Nuclear Security Summit, while the United States will provide necessary technical and financial assistance to support this effort. Ukraine intends to remove a substantial part of those stocks this year. President Obama praised Ukraine’s decision as a historic step and a reaffirmation of Ukraine’s leadership in nuclear security and nonproliferation. Ukraine joins the United States in the international effort to convert civil nuclear research facilities to operate with low enriched uranium fuel, which is becoming the global standard in the 21st century.
The two leaders agreed to explore ways to strengthen cooperation in the peaceful uses of atomic energy, including development of Ukrainian nuclear research capabilities and efforts to diversify Ukraine’s nuclear power industry’s fuel supply, in accordance with the 123 Agreement and other complementary bilateral arrangements as may be agreed by Ukraine and the United States. They also agreed to continue working together on nuclear safety, including efforts to safeguard the Chornobyl nuclear reactor site. The United States has contributed almost $250 million to this effort and reaffirms its commitment to further support Ukraine and others in restoring the Chornobyl site to a safe condition.
Attached is a Fact Sheet on the Ukrainian HEU Announcement.