Cyprus Mail

Cyprus helping train 24 experts from Ukraine in demining

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Photo: CNA

Cyprus, as part of the European Union Military Assistance Mission Ukraine (EUMAM) programme, is participating in the training of 24 experts from Ukraine in mine clearance issues, Defence Minister Michalis Giorgallas said on Friday, asked to comment on reports on the matter.

He said that according to estimates, with a team that must exceed 5,000 specialists, Ukraine will need 30 years to clear all its lands of mines, adding that many areas are unmarked and civilians are killed because they wander in these areas.

The minister said that the European Union has intervened in this humanitarian issue and has organised specific training groups.

He said that there are training operations in Germany in which the Republic of Cyprus participates with officers.

As part of this humanitarian effort Cyprus provides experts and facilities on the island with the input of Irish and other, more specialised personnel, in training Ukrainian experts, who will then return to Ukraine and deal with the identification of minefields and the clearance of areas from mines and other issues related to this project.

In response to a question, the defence minister said that the group of experts who conduct the training also includes Americans and that 24 people are currently in training in National Guard camps, under full cover and full protection, according to the specifications of the programme.

He said that according to needs, Cyprus was asked to train two teams this month and next. It is not clear at the moment how many Ukrainian experts will arrive next month as part of the training, the minister said.

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