NATO-Sponsored Project Helps Ukraine Destroy Dangerous Stocks Of Munitions…
- Stocks of unused and obsolete munitions pose a serious problem for many countries. Untended depots can be dangerous. In Ukraine, several unplanned explosions at munitions sites have led to loss of life, injury and significant damage. To protect people living near such depots, NATO is sponsoring a project to help safely dispose of the country’s excess munitions.
- After the break- up of the former Soviet Union, Ukraine inherited large quantities of weapons and ammunition. At the end of their service life, the surplus munitions become unusable. Often they are left outside, exposed to heat and humidity, which can cause them to become very unstable. Explosions at storage depots are always a risk. Sudden and often unexplained detonations pose a threat to people in the area.
- To help make the area around depots safer for the local population, NATO is currently running a Trust Fund project in Ukraine to destroy the surplus munitions. “The primary purpose of the project is the destruction of stockpiles which are a threat to the population,” says Dr Frederic Peugeot, Trust Fund project manager with the NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency (NAMSA), which oversees work on the project.
- Col. Oleh Levchenko, First Secretary of Defence and representative of the National Armament Director at Ukraine’s diplomatic mission to NATO, underscores the value of the initiative: “As the Trust Fund project provides not only the expertise and assets, but also allocates most of the funds needed for weapons destruction and ammunition demilitarization, its importance cannot be underestimated,” he says. “This project serves as a good example of constructive cooperation between Ukraine and NATO.” / NATO /
*(Source Of Photos: NATO / )
Disposing Of A Deadly Legacy… / NATO
- This project is a continuation of a previous five-year NATO Trust Fund project in Ukraine. During the first phase of the project, an explosive waste incinerator was built at the Donetsk State Chemical Plant and 400,000 small arms and light weapons, 15,000 tonnes of ammunition, 1,000 man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADS) and 500 grip stocks were destroyed.
- The second phase of the project, launched in May 2012, is focusing on disposing of an additional 366,000 small arms and light weapons, demilitarizing 76,000 tonnes of conventional ammunition including three million PFM-1 anti-personnel landmines.
- The United States is the lead nation for the 25 million Euro project. “There is a basic need in Ukraine for this type of work and NATO is fulfilling that requirement,” says Rigo Garza, Political Officer with the United States Mission to NATO.
- Building on the experience contractors gained in the first phase of the project means faster implementation this time around. The project is expected to be completed within four years. / NATO /
NATO’s Relations With Ukraine… / NATO
- The formal basis for NATO-Ukraine relations is the 1997 Charter on a Distinctive Partnership, which established the NATO-Ukraine Commission (NUC). An Intensified Dialogue on Ukraine’s membership aspirations and related reforms was launched in 2005. Under President Viktor Yanukovych’s current government, Ukraine is not presently seeking membership of the Alliance; however, this has had no practical impact on cooperation with NATO.
- Allied leaders meeting at the Lisbon Summit in November 2010 stated their respect for Ukraine’s policy of “non-bloc” status and welcomed the Ukrainian government’s commitment to pursue fully Ukraine’s Distinctive Partnership with NATO. They underlined their continued commitment to providing the relevant assistance to Ukraine for the implementation of wide-ranging domestic reforms. They also recalled that NATO’s door remains open to Ukraine, in line with the decision taken at the Bucharest Summit in April 2008, when Allied leaders agreed that Ukraine may become a NATO member in the future. Ultimately, it is up to the Ukrainian people and their elected leaders to determine the country’s future path with NATO.
- In December 2008, NATO foreign ministers agreed to enhance opportunities for assisting Ukraine in its efforts to conduct internal reforms, making use of the existing framework of the NUC, the development of a new Annual National Programme, and the reinforcement of the NATO information and liaison offices in Ukraine. A “Declaration to Complement the Charter on a Distinctive Partnership between NATO and Ukraine”, signed on 21 August 2009, gives the NUC a central role in deepening political dialogue and cooperation, and in underpinning Ukraine’s reform efforts.
- Dialogue and cooperation between NATO and Ukraine has become well-established in a wide range of areas. In particular, Ukraine has proved to be an important contributor to Euro-Atlantic security in the framework of NATO-led operations.
- Another important aspect of relations is the support given by NATO and individual Allies for Ukraine’s ongoing reform efforts, particularly in the defense and security sectors. These reforms are vital for the country’s democratic development. / NATO /
NATO: Keeping An Eye On The Ball…
- Not many people would immediately associate NATO with the Euro 2012 Football Championship. But NATO’s “Eye in the Sky”, the AWACS (Airborne Warning & Control System) is playing an important role in the security of the European teams’ competition.
- As a consequence of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, NATO governments have been able to request the air surveillance and control capability of NATO AWACS to assist with security for major public events. Poland, as co-host of the competition along with Ukraine, is the latest NATO member to make such a request. Other high-visibility events to which the AWACS have been called in include the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Greece, the 2004 European Football Championship in Portugal, and the 2006 World Cup Football Championship in Germany, as well as important meetings held by other international organizations.
- The fleet of Boeing E-3A ‘Sentry’ AWACS conduct a wide range of missions such as air policing, counter-terrorism, crisis response and demonstrative force operations. As well as providing air support to meetings of Alliance heads of state, governmental and non-governmental meetings, and NATO summits, the AWACS have also played a crucial role in NATO operations, such as Unified Protector in 2011.
- The NATO AWACS is the Alliance’s largest collaborative program and is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. In keeping with the Secretary General’s “Smart Defence” initiative, the programme is an example of what NATO member countries, in this case 18 nations, can achieve by pooling resources and working together in a truly multinational environment. / NATO /