Sunday, September 22, 2013

Puchkov to visit Nis on Tuesday

9/22/2013 7:42:00 PM

 Russian Ambassador in Serbia Aleksandr Chepurin announced on Sunday that Russian Minister for Emergency Situations Vladimir Puchkov would visit the Serbian-Russian Humanitarian Centre in Nis on September 24. Chepurin told Tanjug that Puchkov and Serbian officials would discuss the results of the development of the Centre which was opened in April 2012. 

 Chepurin expressed the expectation that the Centre would soon get registered as an international organisation, and added that it aims to contribute to overcoming the consequences of emergency situations in Serbia and other regional countries.

 He denied the claim voiced by certain individuals according to which the Centre is a 'camouflaged military base of Russia'. This is ridiculous, the ambassador said and added that it is obvious to everyone that the people need the Centre. He said that the Centre's tasks include fire-fighting activities, organisation of search and rescue, mine clearance, delivery of humanitarian assistance and training of national service staff.

 Chepurin said that he expects the Centre to become an important factor of cooperation between the countries of the Balkan region through joint efforts in terms of tackling emergency humanitarian crises. He noted that Russia made its first donation worth USD 2 million to the Centre's development in 2011 and in August 2013, the Russian government adopted a decision to set aside over USD 41 million for the period from 2013 to 2016. A total of USD 26,910,000 were set aside in 2013 for the procurement of equipment for the Centre, Chepurin said and added that the mine clearance process will continue. In June 2010, the Serbian-Russian unit for mine clearance comprising 50 people was formed and the Russian government adopted a decision to set aside the donation worth USD 22,670,000 for the continuation of cooperation in mine clearance in Serbia, Chepurin said.

 According to the data from September 1, a total of 3.7 million square metres of land have been cleared and 12,344 explosive devices have been disassembled which were left over from the period of the NATO bombing in 1999. Photo Tanjug video screenshot

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