US has launched a demining training project in Ukraine by awarding USD 47.6 million to Tetra Tech, Inc. of California, amid the Russia- Ukraine war, the State Department said on Tuesday (local time).
“On September 30, the Department awarded $47.6 million to Tetra Tech, Inc. of Pasadena, California to provide urgent humanitarian demining assistance to Ukraine in the face of Russia’s brutal war of aggression,” as per the statement released by the US Department of State.
According to the statement, Tetra Tech will strengthen the Government of Ukraine’s capacity to locate and remove landmines, unexploded and abandoned ordnance, improvised explosive devices, and other explosive hazards from civilian areas.
Tetra Tech will train the Government of Ukraine’s demining and EOD teams to international standards and provide them with the tools necessary to do their jobs. The project also supports deploying additional clearance teams and explosive ordnance risk education teams through the local non-governmental organization Ukrainian Deminers Association.
The statement further added that Russia’s unlawful war against Ukraine has littered massive swaths of the country with landmines, unexploded ordnance, and improvised explosive devices.
“The explosive hazards block access to farmland, impede reconstruction efforts, prevent displaced people from returning to their homes, and continue to kill and maim innocent Ukrainian civilians. The Government of Ukraine estimates that 160,000 square kilometres of its land may be contaminated – this is roughly the size of Virginia, Maryland, and Connecticut combined,” the statement reads
Since 1993, the United States has invested over USD 4.7 billion for the safe clearance of landmines and explosive weapons of war as well as the securing and safe disposal of excess small arms and light weapons and munitions in more than 100 countries and territories.
According to the statement, the United States is the world’s largest financial supporter of conventional weapons destruction.
In September, the State Department said that America would provide USD 600 million in additional military assistance for Ukraine.
US State Secretary Antony Blinken said, “I am authorizing our twenty-first drawdown of U.S. arms and equipment for Ukraine since September 2021. This USD 600 million drawdown includes additional arms, munitions, and equipment from U.S. Department of Defense inventories.”
“This drawdown will bring the total U.S. military assistance for Ukraine to approximately USD 15.8 billion since the beginning of this Administration.”
He noted that together with Allies and partners, the US is delivering the arms and equipment that Ukraine’s forces are utilizing so effectively as they continue their successful counter-offensive against Russia’s invasion.
Russian forces launched military operations in Ukraine on February 24, three days after Moscow recognized Ukraine’s breakaway regions – Donetsk and Luhansk – as independent entities.
Several countries including the UK, the US, Canada, and the European Union have condemned Russia’s military operations in Ukraine and imposed sanctions on Moscow. These countries have also promised to help Ukraine with military aid to fight Russia. (ANI)