Uranium stocks go in US terrorism deal

Ukraine has sent a "significant portion" of its highly enriched uranium stock to Russia, in line with a deal with the United States aimed at preventing terrorism, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said yesterday.

Kiev, which voluntarily gave up the nuclear weapons it inherited when the Soviet Union collapsed, agreed with Washington in April to get rid of its stock by 2012, and convert its civilian nuclear research facilities to operate with low enriched uranium fuel.

"Ukraine has fulfilled its obligations by removing a significant portion of these nuclear materials," the ministry said in a statement. "In line with the United States' obligations... Ukraine has received an equivalent amount of low enriched uranium for the needs of... research facilities."

The agreement is designed to make it harder for militants to get hold of fissile material that could be used in an atomic bomb.