Obama traveled to Ukraine with Sen. Dick Lugar in 2005 just seven months after he became a senator, touring surplus weapons stockpiles.
Most of the small arms and ammunition were left over when Soviets withdrew from Eastern bloc nations, and later dumped in Ukraine.
The two senators secured U.S. funding to help destroy the weapons instead of leaving them intact
Ukraine exported more than 700,000 small arms in 2004-2007, including 101,000 each to Libya and the UK, and 260,000 to the U.S.
But most of the ammunition stockpiles – crucial for keeping a standing army battle-ready – were destroyed.
Ukraine is in a staring match with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has designs on recapturing portions of the former Soviet nation.