In connection with the increased risks of natural fires and the intensification of the fire hazard period of 2018, the OSCE will implement in Ukraine a project to strengthen the transfrontier co-operation between the Ministry of Emergencies of the Republic of Belarus and the SES of Ukraine on the management of natural disasters in the territory of the Chernobyl disaster zone.
That is why, during May 17-18, on the basis of the University of Civil Defense of the Ministry of Emergencies of the Republic of Belarus, the city of Gomel, specialized trainings for specialists in fire safety and forest protection of both states were held in order to improve the organization of the extinguishing of transboundary fires in the exclusion zone of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. The main objective of this initiative is to develop mechanisms for simplified crossing of state borders by representatives of Ukraine and Belarus in case of occupation of forest areas located on the border of state borders in the exclusion zone.
In addition, the procedure for the operative exchange of information between the relevant services of Belarus and Ukraine was agreed upon in the event of a fire hazard or the threat of the transfer of radioactive smoke to the territory of a neighboring state.
Representatives of rescue services, agencies responsible for the exclusion zone, border guard, customs and law enforcement agencies as well as local authorities of both states were acquainted with a clear mechanism of interaction during the elimination of large-scale natural fires and their consequences in the exclusion zone.
Among the participants of the training were representatives of the Chernobyl Disaster Management Department of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Republic of Belarus, the Administration of the Resettlement and Alienation Area of Belarus, the Emergency Response Department of the State Emergency of Ukraine, the Main Department of the SES of Ukraine in the Kyiv region and the State Agency of Ukraine on Exclusion Zone Management and others.
These command-and-staff training are carried out within the framework of the OSCE project "Improving radiological and environmental awareness of the population on the territories affected by the Chornobyl catastrophe in Belarus and Ukraine, with particular attention to the management of natural disasters."