Belarus to Give Up Uranium Stockpile
I missed this yesterday, but I thought I’d post it as it’s kind of a nice “diplomacy isn’t dead in the wake of Wikileaks” story:
The announcement came at a European security summit meeting and served as an antidote to administration fears that the recent disclosure of confidential diplomatic cables would hamper America’s ability to deal with foreign governments, several of whom were portrayed in a negative light.
For the United States, winning over Belarus is a significant milestone in Mr. Obama’s campaign to secure all vulnerable stocks of nuclear material in the next four years, said Philip H. Gordon, the State Department’s assistant secretary for European and Eurasian affairs. Belarus is the last country in the former Soviet orbit outside Russia with a large stockpile of highly enriched uranium, which can be used to make nuclear bombs if enriched to a pure enough grade.
It had also been a stubborn holdout, so much so that in April the White House declined to invite Belarus to a 47-nation nuclear security summit meeting convened by Mr. Obama, at which another former Soviet republic, Ukraine, announced that it would relinquish its highly enriched uranium.