Updated: 29-Jun-2001 NATO Press Releases

(2001) 098

28 June 2001

Signature of a memorandum on Logistic Cooperation between Moldova and NATO on safe destruction of melange, anti-personnel land mines and surplus munitions

This morning, a memorandum of understanding was signed by the Moldovan Foreign Minister H.E Nicolae Cernomaz and Mr Peter Markey, Managing Director of the NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency (NAMSA) on Logistic Cooperation. This signature took place on the occasion of the visit by H.E. President Voronin of Moldova to meet Lord Robertson at NATO Headquarters on 28 June 2001.

The memorandum concluded between Moldova and NAMSA opens the way for the implementation of the Partnership for Peace Trust Fund for the safe destruction of liquid propellant oxidizer, known as melange - a very aggressive substance any leakage of which can pose a potentially serious threat to the local population. The memorandum also foresees the destruction of anti-personnel land mines and surplus munitions.

This Partnership for Peace project is led by the Netherlands. Costs for the project are estimated to be in excess of 1 million US Dollars. In addition to the contribution in kind by the Moldovan authorities, financial support is being provided by Canada, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland and the United Kingdom.

Under the NAMSA plan, material assistance and training will be provided to carry out the safe disposal and neutralisation of the 362 tonnes (250 cubic metres) of liquid propellant oxidizer, currently stored in 11 metal containers near to the Moldovan capital Chisinau (clean up of the storage site is also planned). The plan also includes the destruction of the 11,872 anti-personnel land mines and other surplus munitions stockpiles. Training for the Moldovan military engineers will be provided at the NATO Explosive Ordnance School in the UK. A demolition site at Bulboka will be upgraded.

The destruction of the anti-personnel land mines will support Moldova in meeting its obligations under the Ottawa Convention. This is the second project initiated under the PfP Trust Fund initiative. NAMSA is currently overseeing the destruction, through a PfP Trust Fund project in Albania, of 1.6 million anti-personnel land mines.

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