Updated at 13:48,15-08-2017

EU-funded facility for landmine destruction opens in Homyel region

By Alena Hermanovich, BelaPAN

A European Union-funded facility for destroying Belarus` stock of liquid-containing PFM-1 anti-personnel landmines was opened in Rechytsa, Homyel region, on May 27.

It will take the €4-million facility 20 months to destroy the entire stock of 3.4 million landmines. As many as 8,000 landmines will be destroyed at the facility daily.

The facility was inaugurated by representatives of the Belarusian defense ministry and the European Commission, as well as Maira Mora, head of the EU Delegation to Belarus, and executives representing Spain`s Explosivos Alaveses SA that had built it.

Deputy Defense Minister Ihar Latsyankow described the opening of the facility as a "landmark event" and said that it employed "new-generation" equipment.

The implementation of the project will allow Belarus to fully meet its obligations under the Ottawa mine ban treaty, said the deputy minister.

Michael Koehler, of the European Commission`s Development and Cooperation - EuropeAid Directorate General, emphasized the importance of destroying landmines, and said that Belarus-EU cooperation in the sphere contributed to stronger trust between them.

The facility can be moved to other parts of Belarus and other countries.