Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych  has called on the international community to follow an example of Ukraine, which in 1994 was the first country to voluntarily give up the world's third-largest nuclear arsenal, and to fully abandon nuclear weapons.

"Now there is also an urgent need to take concrete steps to reduce the risks linked to the proliferation of nuclear materials and technology. We are calling on other member states of the United Nations to follow our example in global nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation," he said in New York at a general debate of the 65th session of the UN General Assembly, UKRINFORM reported.

Yanukovych said that the experience of the last decade had shown "that nuclear weapons not always strengthen security." "Countries that are acquiring nuclear weapons could fall under the influence of new risks and become more vulnerable," he said, adding that "the best means of countering the proliferation of nuclear weapons is their gradual elimination."

The Ukrainian president also welcomed the signing of a new START Treaty between the United States and Russia, as well as a further reduction in their national nuclear arsenals.

"Sixteen years have passed [after Ukraine decided to give up its nuclear arsenal], but Ukraine's example currently remains relevant. At the Washington nuclear security summit in April this year, Ukraine made the next step, by declaring its decision to get rid of all stocks of highly enriched uranium," he said.

However, he also noted that in connection with the said steps, Ukraine counted on the strict observance of commitments by international partners regarding the guarantees of its security. "First of all, I mean the Budapest Memorandum of 1994. Ukraine insists that security assurances for the states that abandoned their nuclear arsenals, as well as for the countries not included in any military alliances, should be reflected in a legally binding international document. This is the best guard against regional nuclear ambitions," the Ukrainian president said.

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