Ukraine implements obligations to become nuclear-free state

Ukraine announced on Tuesday that it fully implemented interstate obligations to reduce strategic offensive weapons, including nuclear weapons, according to the nation's government.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych said it has been a pleasure to fulfill the country's international obligations as part of agreements with U.S. President Barack Obama. Yanukovych made the announcement at the opening of a facility to dispose empty airframes of rocket engines at the Pavlohrad chemical plant.

"Today, we can surely say that practical implementation of interstate obligations of Ukraine under the agreement on reduction of strategic offensive armament has entered the final stage," Yanukovych said. "It is a symbolic fact that removal and disposal of solid propellant and airframes of engines of intercontinental ballistic missiles is conducted at Pavlohrad chemical plant which produced solid propellant for such missiles."

U.S. Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Ukraine John Tefft affirmed that the agreement between Presidents Yanukovych and Obama had been fulfilled.

"We congratulate Ukraine with the brave decision to become a nuclear-free state," Tefft said. "We congratulate you, Mr. President, workers of the plant and all the people in the region who make this place safe."

During the ceremony, Tefft said the U.S. Department of Defense has invested $194 million in dismantlement, disposal and storage of solid propellant and airframes.

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