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Minister: Greece joins international coalition for demining in Ukraine

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk March 16, 2024 12:27 AM 2 min read
Photo for illustrative purposes. A warning sign that reads "Dangerous! Mines!" placed near destroyed houses during a de-mining operation in the village of Hrakove, Kharkiv Oblast, on April 18, 2023. (Sergey Bobok/AFP via Getty Images)
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Greece has recently joined the Lithuania-led coalition to assist Ukraine with demining efforts, Greek Defense Minister Nikos Dendias said on March 15.

Lithuania, one of Kyiv’s staunch supporters, announced the creation of the demining coalition in July 2023 to help Ukraine clear its territory from mines, threatening thousands of people with deaths or injuries.

Nearly one-third of Ukraine's territory, approximately 174,000 square kilometers, had been mined since Russia began its full-scale invasion of the country in February 2022.

Dendias on March 15 met with his Lithuanian counterpart Arvydas Anusauskas in Vilnius, where they discussed Russia’s war against Ukraine, among other topics, the Greek Defense Ministry wrote in a press release.

After the meeting, Dendias reiterated his country’s position that views Russia’s invasion of Ukraine "as a flagrant violation of its national sovereignty and International Law."

"And we are pleased to have recently joined the Demining Capability Coalition under your leadership and signed the Agreement in your presence in Brussels," he added.

The coalition, currently consisting of around 20 countries, reportedly aims to assist Ukraine in both humanitarian demining of liberated territories and clearing mines on the front lines.

Deep minefields stand between Ukrainian forces and entrenched Russian troops. The lack of demining capacity slows down the advance of Ukrainian troops in their attempts to liberate occupied territories.

Russia is covering Ukraine with landmines. Clearing them will be extremely difficult
In March 2022 right after the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion, a cell phone video apparently taken by a Russian soldier captured two “Zemledeliye” mobile mine-laying systems thought to be stationed in Kharkiv Oblast. Positioned against a drab backdrop of what was once farmland, the “Zemledeli…
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