A senior official from Ukraine’s Defense Ministry has arrived in Armenia to familiarize himself with the Armenian military’s demining experience and facilities.
Maksim Komisarov, the head of a ministry department dealing with landmine clearance, and other Ukrainian defense officials accompanying him met with Armenia’s Deputy Defense Minister Ara Nazarian on Tuesday.
A statement by the Armenian Defense Ministry said the four-day visit is aimed at an “exchange of experience in the area of mine clearance.” It said Nazarian and Komisarov discussed logistical and legal aspects of demining operations.
The statement added that the Ukrainian delegation will also visit a demining center near Yerevan which the Armenian army opened in 2002 with financial and technical assistance provided by the United States. Military personnel trained there have cleared areas along Armenia’s border with Azerbaijan of many landmines.
Sappers were also part of a small military contingent which Armenia deployed in Iraq in 2005.
First Deputy Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan said last year that Yerevan plans to contribute in the near future demining experts to multinational peace keeping operations abroad. He said they will be trained by U.S. and other Western military instructors to detect and defuse improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
Ukraine presumably needs demining activities because of the continuing bloody conflict with Russian-backed rebels that control a large part of its eastern Donbass region.