WASHINGTON — Ukraine has agreed to get rid of its stockpile of highly enriched uranium, enough for several nuclear weapons, in an agreement announced by the White House as President Barack Obama opened the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington Monday. Obama and Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych met earlier Monday asthe summit was getting under way.
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said the Ukraine stockpile will be disposed of by 2012 under the agreement. Some of the material may be shipped to the United States for storage as part of an effort to keep it out of the hands of terrorists. Russia also will have a role in disposing of the material.
Heading off the potential for nuclear terrorism is the top priority in Obama's nuclear strategy, and the two-day Washington summit involving 46 nations and the U.S. is focused on steps toward the president's goal of securing nuclear stockpiles worldwide within four years.