Ukraine agrees to give up stockpile

The White House announced a landmark deal to have the former Soviet republic of Ukraine give up its full stock of highly-enriched uranium—at least 90 kilograms—by 2012. “This is something that the United States has tried to make happen for more than 10 years,” White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters during a summit briefing Monday. “The material is enough to construct at least three nuclear weapons.”  Ploughshares Fund grantee William Potter of the Monterey Institute for International Studies agreed that the Ukraine deal will be significant, if it is carried out. He said the Ukrainians made a tentative move in the same direction in 2008, but never followed through.  Kenneth Luongo, co-chair of the Fissile Materials Working Group,  told the Washington Times that  the Ukraine pledge is a major accomplishment. He added, however, that the announcement "is not going to solve the entire nuclear security problem around the globe, it will solve one piece of it. ... I want to make sure that the commitments made on Tuesday are followed up on Wednesday.