Arvydas Anusauskas, Minister for National Defence of Lithuania, presented the updated concept of the mine clearance coalition to Yurii Dzhyhyr, Ukraine's Deputy Defence Minister, during the latter's visit to Vilnius.
Source: European Pravda, citing Ukraine’s Defence Ministry
The message states that the concept includes both elements of humanitarian demining of liberated occupied territories and combat demining on the line of contact with Russian troops.
Anusauskas said that for Lithuania, implementing this issue is the main priority in assisting Ukraine for 2024-2026. Currently, 22 countries intend to join the anti-mine coalition headed by Vilnius.
Dzhyhyr said the mines and unexploded shells that Russia sowed the lands of Ukraine with are not only an obstacle to a counteroffensive, but also a shot at future generations because mined countries continue to suffer from mines and unexploded shells decades after the wars are over.
Quote: "Lithuania is today leading a very difficult direction in the fight against this insidious weapon. In particular, expanding the coalition's work into combat zones confirms the readiness to quickly consider the most acute problems and find ways to solve them," he summarised.
- Earlier, Lithuania took part in the 17th meeting of the Contact Group for the Defence of Ukraine (Ramstein format), which took place online and reported on the progress in establishing the mine clearance coalition initiated by it.
- Lithuanian Defence Minister Arvydas Anušauskas announced the creation of a mine clearance coalition to help Ukraine during the Ramstein-format meeting in July.
- Apart from that, Lithuania became one of the participants of the Northern European-Lithuanian Minesweeper Training Initiative (NLETI), which provides for four training sessions during 2023 with the aim of training Ukrainian bomb disposal experts.