International Anti-Mine Center to be Created in Russia

5An international anti-mine center will appear in Russia in 2014. Specialists in combating explosive devices, including improvised ones, will be trained there. Countries of the North Atlantic Alliance will participate in creating the new educational structure. It is expected that combat engineers trained at the Russian centre will be in demand in many regions of the world.

1The idea of creating an international combat engineers’ training center was put forward by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. The head of the Russian Defense Ministry proposed to establish a teaching center, which will train relevant specialists from different countries, and locate it in Russia. NATO representatives supported the initiative, editor-in-chief of the Arsenal Otechestva Victor Murakhovsky says.

“Russian specialists command significant respect and have years of experience in detecting and eliminating landmines and improvised explosive devices. Russian designers and manufacturers produce special technical means that not only meet the international standards, but surpass them in some areas. NATO has less experience in this field. Secondly, it is necessary to agree on common working methodologies in carrying out activities for destroying mines and other explosive devices.”

3“Of course, these are subject matter specialists. They will mainly work for security services. It will be dangerous, if the knowledge that they will receive falls into wrong hands. Mine clearance specialists are in demand in many regions where conflicts have ended, but minefields have remained. They are appropriately paid and bring great profit to states. Many countries are now engaged in training such specialists. And the creation of such a single center where different teachers could share their experiences and transfer best practices, is a very interesting initiative of Russia, which was enthusiastically embraced by all states”, expert of the Center of Political Studies of Russia Vadim Kozyulin says.

The anti-mine centre will be opened in Russia this year. This was announced by head of the Engineering Troops of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, General-Lieutenant Yuri Stavitsky. Afghans will be its first students. The teaching will be conducted in their native language. Special attention will be paid to practical training. It is assumed that not only Russian but foreign specialists as well will share their knowledge.

2It is worth noting that there is long established cooperation between the engineering services of Russia and the United States. US combat engineers have crossed the ocean many times to exchange experience with their Russian colleagues. Moreover, Russia has a constantly updated data bank on different types of explosive devices, including homemade ones, and all incidents connected with explosions are being recorded in-detail as well. The Russian military is ready to share this information with its Western partners. Against the background of a terrorist threat, which is relevant to the majority of states today, such information could be vital at a critical moment.

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