Ukraine's Parliament opens debate today on the nuclear disarmament agreement that President Leonid Kravchuk signed earlier this month with Russia and the United States.
Kravchuk insists that the agreement--which would rid Ukraine of all nuclear weapons within seven years in exchange for secure borders, nuclear reactor fuel and more than $1 billion in U.S. aid--does not require Parliament's ratification. But he is lobbying to avoid an outright rejection that would make it politically hard to fulfill.
Initial reaction among lawmakers was hostile to the pact. But they decided to have four legislative committees examine it and report to Parliament. A vote is expected by Friday.
(An item published in this column last week incorrectly stated that the debate would began earlier.)