The disposal of unserviceable ammunition in Ukraine has been resumed under the NATO Trust Fund Demilitarization Project framework, managed the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA). Demilitarization activities in the region were interrupted earlier this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Special procedures have been put in place to ensure compliance with the sanitary and epidemiological regulations and to provide a safe work environment.
The Trust Fund was established in 2005 upon the request of the Ukrainian Government. The second phase of the project was initiated in 2011. Since then, NSPA has contributed to the disposal of more than 29,6 thousand tons of ammunition, 2,4 million PFM-1(S) antipersonnel landmines and employed up to 110 people in the region. With the restarting of activities, another 1,5 thousand tons of unserviceable munitions are expected to be destroyed and safely disposed by the end of 2020.
Ukraine owns a large numbers of old and obsolete weapons and ammunition, accumulated in the country after the withdrawal of the Soviet troops from the territories of the Warsaw Pact countries. These pose a potential threat to the population and the environment. NATO Trust Fund Project aims to improve the regional security and the safety of the population, at the same time as supporting Ukraine in fulfilling the Ottawa Convention Commitments.
The United States of America is the Lead Nation for this project. Further countries and international organizations sponsoring the project include the European Union, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Japan, Italy, Ireland, Luxembourg, Norway, Switzerland, and Turkey.