Belarus will remove all HEU by 2012

During the OCSE summit in Astana, Kazakhstan Belarus pledged to remove all highly-enriched uranium from its territory by the time of the second Nuclear Security Summit in 2012. In a joint statement made after the announcement, the United States and Belarus stated the following:

Foreign Minister Martynov announced that Belarus has decided to eliminate all of its stocks of highly enriched uranium (HEU) and intends to do so by the time of the next Nuclear Security Summit in 2012. The United States intends to provide technical and financial assistance to support the completion of this effort as expeditiously as possible.

The United States, Russia, and Belarus have been working on the fuel return plan for some time now. In its NNSA FY2011 budget request the Obama administration included funds to support the transfer. Since the material will be returned to Russia, in October 2010 Belarus and Russia signed an intergovernmental agreement that would regulate the return of fuel. As of April 2010, there remained some uncertainty about fuel of the IRT-M research reactor, but it appears that this issue has been resolved and the fuel of this reactor will be removed from Belarus as well.

UPDATE: Some HEU material was removed from Belarus in October-November 2010. The Washington Post quotes a U.S. official as saying that about 500 pounds (about 230 kg) still remains in Belarus.