Germany has offered the Russian authorities help in tackling the devastating forest fires raging across the country. At the request of Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, the German Embassy in Moscow today (31 July) contacted the Russian Foreign Ministry with an offer to examine whether Germany could provide emergency aid – medical help, emergency accommodation and drinking-water purification – should this be required.
Federal Minister Westerwelle spoke of a “gesture of solidarity” with those affected by the disaster. To the families and friends of those who had died he offered the German nation’s deep sympathy.
With fires raging in over 400 locations across Russia, 18 peat bogs burning and 61 major forest fires, the total area affected now covers some 120 thousand hectares. According to Russian reports, the death toll has now reached 35 and many more have been injured. The worst affected areas are the Volga region and especially the region around Moscow. Russian sources put the number of houses destroyed to date in the Ryazan area at 233.
For more information on the humanitarian assistance provided by the Federal Foreign Office please consult: