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Ukraine is determined to minimize the impact of mine contamination in 10 years’ time and needs help from partners, Yuliia Svyrydenko

Україна налаштована за 10 років мінімізувати вплив забруднення мінами і для цього їй потрібна допомога партнерів, - Юлія Свириденко

Over the next 10 years, Ukraine’s goal is to minimize the social and economic impact of contamination of its territories by mines and unexploded ordnance. This was stated by Yuliia Svyrydenko, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy of Ukraine, in her speech at the International Donors’ Conference on humanitarian demining in Ukraine, taking place in Zagreb on October 11, 2023.

According to Yuliia Svyrydenko, Ukraine understands the unprecedented scale of the threat. Today, Ukraine is the most potentially mine-contaminated country in the world since the Second World War. A third of its territory, covering up to 174,000 square kilometers, is potentially under threat. More than 6 million people are at risk. The number of incidents has already reached 500. If the problem is not effectively addressed, the number of mine victims could reach more than 9,000 by 2030.

“Realizing this, we have joined forces. Deminers of the State Emergency Service and the Ministry of Defense are engaged in mine clearance on the ground. We, as the Ministry of Economy, coordinate the efforts of all partners, provide funding, increase the number of equipment through partner support, open the humanitarian demining market, and encourage the use of innovations in the process of detecting explosive devices. As the Minister of Economy, I am well aware that without demining, we will not be able to fully launch our economy. Mine clearance is therefore the starting point for the recovery of our country and its economy,” Yuliia Svyrydenko said.

According to First Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Economy, Ukraine is systematically approaching the task of mine clearance. Priorities, as well as bottlenecks and problem areas have been identified. There is a plan to overcome the problems. To speed up the survey and clearance of land, Ukraine is relying on the following:

  • application of the most advanced demining technologies;
  • localization, creation and expansion of equipment production in Ukraine;
  • creating a competitive demining market;
  • compensation to agricultural companies that purchase demining services through the Prozorro system;
  • attracting specialists to train deminers and other personnel.

The Mine Action Strategy, which Ukraine is drafting jointly with international partners, and the National Plan should serve as roadmaps for demining in the coming years.

“We understand that it will be impossible to remove all mines over the next 10 years. Even today, we still find bombs and mines from the Second World War in the ground. Therefore, our strategic vision is that in 10 years we must make sure that people will live again without any real risk associated with mines,” Yuliia Svyrydenko said.

According to her, the draft strategy provides for three strategic objectives to achieve this goal:

  • returning land to productive use;
  • prevention of accidents and protection of victims;
  • creating a better architecture for mine action.

According to First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy of Ukraine, our state needs help to achieve this goal.

“We need support to expand our capacity and increase the number of deminers and equipment. We are looking for funding to produce or purchase equipment. We are waiting for your operators in the market, because the more capacity we have, the faster we will complete the demining. We also need a nationwide awareness campaign to educate children from an early age about the dangers of explosive ordnance. There is also a place for your support in this area,” Yuliia Svyrydenko said.

We remind that the International Donors’ Conference on humanitarian demining in Ukraine, which is taking place in Croatia, is attended by representatives of more than 40 foreign countries – ministers of defence and foreign affairs, ambassadors and heads of foreign organizations. The Ukrainian delegation is led by Yuliia Svyrydenko, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy of Ukraine.

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