NATO and Russia committed to boost cooperation on civil emergency planning
NATO and Russia committed to boosting their cooperation on civil emergency planning and disaster preparedness during a meeting held on Friday (31 May 2013) between NATO Deputy Secretary General Ambassador Alexander Vershbow and Vladimir Puchkov, Russian Minister for Civil Defence, Emergency Situations and Disaster Relief.
Both parties agreed that Russia and NATO nations face the same challenges in dealing with the consequences of natural and man-made disasters and expressed their intention to expand the mutually beneficial cooperation in the area of civil emergency planning and response. They discussed the planning of additional joint exercises, cooperation in ensuring protection for high visibility events, and considered further cooperation in the field of medical evacuation. They also explored the use of modern technologies for civil emergency purposes.
During the meeting, Ambassador Vershbow said that the visit of Minister Puchkov is a clear sign of the good cooperation between the Russian Federation and NATO in the field of civil emergency planning and disaster response and that practical cooperation is of great value to the Alliance, NATO nations and the Russian Federation. The Minister and his delegation also had a tour of the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC) during their visit.
The Deputy Secretary General said that the meeting also shows the clear commitment between NATO and the Russian Federation to boost cooperation in this field, where both Russia and NATO nations face the same challenges in dealing with the consequences of natural and man-made disasters.
NATO and Russia have been cooperating since 1996 to develop joint action in response to civil emergencies, on the basis of a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Field of Civil Emergency Planning Between NATO and the Russian Federation. The Alliance has a lot of expertise in civil emergency planning. The aim of NATO planning in the field is to collect, analyse and share information on national planning activities to ensure the best use of resources during crisis situations such as floods, earthquakes or conflict. NATO activities are also closely coordinated with other international organisations such as the United Nations and the European Union.