Cyprus Republic, as part of the European Union Military Assistance Mission Ukraine (EUMAM) program, is participating in the training of 24 experts from Ukraine in mine clearance issues, Defense Minister Michalis Giorgallas said on Friday, asked to comment on reports on the matter.
He said that according to estimations, with a team that must exceed 5,000 specialists, Ukraine will need 30 years to clear all its lands of mines, adding that many areas are unmarked and civilians are killed because they wander in these areas.
The Minister said that the European Union has intervened in this humanitarian issue and has organized specific training groups.
He said that there are training operations in Germany in which the Republic of Cyprus participates with officers.
Moreover, as part of this humanitarian effort, the Republic of Cyprus provides experts and facilities in Cyprus, with the input of Irish and other, more specialized personnel, in training Ukrainian experts, who will then return to Ukraine and deal with the identification of minefields and the clearance of areas from mines and other issues related to this project.
In response to a question, Defense Minister said that the group of experts who conduct the training also includes Americans and that 24 people are currently in training in National Guard camps, under full cover and full protection, according to the specifications of the program.
He said that according to the needs we were asked to train two teams this month and next. It is not clear at the moment how many Ukrainian experts will arrive next month as part of the training, the Minister said.