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Disarmament Commissioner welcomes destruction of old Soviet munitions in Ukraine

30.05.2012 - Press release

The Federal Foreign Office is contributing 100,000 euros to fund the destruction of 400 tonnes of Soviet munitions in Ukraine.

Rolf Nikel, Federal Government Commissioner for Disarmament and Arms Control, issued the following statement today (30 May):

Old Soviet munitions should be destroyed and should not be stored right in the middle of Europe in Ukraine. By destroying munitions we prevent them from falling into the wrong hands. Every euro that we devote to the destruction of dangerous weapons is money well invested.

In 2012 the Federal Foreign Office has contributed 100,000 euros to a NATO initiative to destroy munitions, small arms, cluster munitions and land mines in Ukraine. NATO is carrying out the destruction of these weapons.

The German ambassador to NATO signed a corresponding agreement in Brussels today.

In Ukraine, NATO plans to destroy a total of roughly 75,000 tonnes of munitions, 360,000 small arms and 3 million landmines in the period between 2011 and 2014.

Between 2005 and 2011, under US leadership, 15,000 tonnes of munitions, 400,000 small arms and 1000 MANPADS were destroyed. MANPADS (man-portable air defence systems) are shoulder-fired anti-aircraft systems which pose a potential threat to civilian air traffic. Germany contributed 50,000 euros to this earlier disarmament project.

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