Deputy Minister Edmondo Cirielli participated in Zagreb at the International Donor Conference on Humanitarian Demining in Ukraine, representing the Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Antonio Tajani.
The conference, which was co-organised by the Croatian and Ukrainian Governments, allowed government representatives and international organisations to explore one of the main problems caused by the Russian aggression against Ukraine: over 170,000 square kilometres (almost 30% of Ukraine’s territory) are now contaminated by mines or unexploded ordnance, the removal of which will require — due to the complexity and high cost of demining operations — years of delicate work and large investments.
The Ukrainian Government updated the international community on the developments on the ground and outlined its national demining strategy, while government representatives, experts and companies from the participating countries formulated proposals and assessed solutions in support of the shared goal of creating the safe conditions for the gradual return of all Ukrainians who have had to leave their homes due to the risks posed by mines and unexploded ordnance.
In this context, Deputy Minister Cirielli stressed that demining in Ukraine must be a top priority for the collective action of Europe and the international community. In addition to being a moral and humanitarian imperative, it also supports, through the recovery of cleared productive land, the economic recovery of the Ukrainian agricultural sector and thus strengthens global food security.
The Deputy Minister also assured Italy’s readiness to support demining efforts in Ukraine, not only with funding for organisations working in this field in partnership with the Ukrainian government, but also through the expertise of specialised Italian companies and our country’s experts in the field.
Deputy Minister Cirielli urged the governments and international organisations present to maintain firm support for Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression and its economic and humanitarian consequences, also in view of the coming winter season.