Russian, Serbian officials tour humanitarian center in south

NIŠ -- PM Ivica Dačić and Russian Emergency Situations Minister Vladimir Puchkov met in Niš on Tuesday to discuss the Serbian-Russian humanitarian center there.

(Tanjug)
(Tanjug)

Dačić and Puchkov said that the center will react in all emergency situations triggered by natural disasters inside Serbia and in the countries of the region if the governments of these countries call for assistance.

Dačić told a press conference in Niš said that a possible location for the center may be a section of an army barracks that the Serbian Army would give over to the Interior Ministry and a decision about that will be made by the Serbian government over the next few weeks.

He stressed that the humanitarian center will not be a military base.

"Serbia is a sovereign country and if it wants to have a military base it can decide about it, but it does not want it," Dačić said.

The prime minister said that the center will have a 30-strong staff and all the equipment necessary to help people in the event of a natural disaster, including first aid, clothes and food, will be stored inside its facilities.

Minister Puchkov said that this year, the Russian government made a decision to invest USD 27 million in furnishing the facility and buying equipment such as fire and rescue vehicles, robots, and special devices.

Earlier today, the two ministers attended a demonstration flight at the Niš airport of a Russian Beriev Be-200 Altair multipurpose amphibious aircraft, used for fire fighting, search and rescue, maritime patrol, cargo, and passenger transportation.

The Russian aircraft has been at the Niš airport since July and will remain there by September to help the Interior Ministry's emergency situations sector in fire fighting if needs arise.

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