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Russia’s emergencies ministry ready to help Hungary organize work with refugees

The Russian emergencies minister has invited Hungary to join the concept of creating humanitarian centers

BUDAPEST, October 24. /TASS/. Russia’s emergencies ministry is ready to cooperate with Hungarian counterparts to organize work with refugees and forced migrants, Russian Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov said on Monday at a working meeting with Hungarian Interior Minister Sandor Pinter.

"We could offer cooperation on issues of the organization of work with refugees and forced migrants as Russia’s emergencies ministry has a vast experience in such activities. The ministry is in charge of coordination of the activities of all temporary accommodation centers that give shelter to people who were forced to flee the Donetsk and Lugansk regions," he said.

The Hungarian interior minister said that about 1,500 refugees arrived in his country in 2015. "Last year, the problem was that 1,426 migrants arrived in our country. We built an engineering fencing system along the border with Serbia and now the task is to protect it," Pinter said, adding that Hungary is now facing a problem with refugees coming from Pakistan and Iraq.

Satellite monitoring data on emergencies

The minister stressed Russia and Hungary should exchange operational satellite monitoring data on emergency situations.

"For the purpose of exchanging data and information received thanks to satellite monitoring, the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations is actively interacting with emergency agencies in other countries, which possess a satellite fleet. Joint work in this direction makes it possible to receive and share the necessary information to each other," Puchkov, who is on a working trip to Budapest, went on to say.

"It is necessary to think of measures, which should be taken in order to organize prompt exchanges of satellite monitoring data between the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations and the Hungarian Interior Ministry on a permanent basis," the Russian emergencies minister stressed.

According to Puchkov, Russia has already established this kind of information exchanges with Belgium and other countries.

Humanitarian centers

Puchkov also invited Hungary to join the concept of creating humanitarian centers, which Russia is developing in the post-Soviet space and in Eastern Europe.

The Russian emergencies minister said Russia already had some good experience in creating such humanitarian centers jointly with Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and Serbia.

"Coordination of international humanitarian activities was another topic which we discussed. The Russian Emergencies Ministry along with its Serbian colleagues has created a (Russian-Serbia) humanitarian center in the city of Nis, which has taken part in the liquidation of emergency situations many times. I am inviting experts to visit that center and take part in its activities," Puchkov stressed.

"We want the Hungarian side to join the activities of the (Russian-Serbian) center. We suggest that our Hungarian partners use the Russian-Serbian humanitarian center to develop the following areas of cooperation: use the center’s equipment and personnel in the liquidation of emergency situations caused by floods and fires; render humanitarian assistance to disaster-stricken population as well as use the center as a training base for experts of Hungary’s rescue service who want to improve their professional skills," Puchkov told Sandor Pinter.

Natural disasters 

Puchkov said Russia and Hungary need to step up work in the prevention and liquidation of the consequences of major disasters, which can occur in the territories of both countries.

"The Russian Emergencies Ministry wants to develop cooperation with Hungarian colleagues in the prevention and liquidation of emergency situations. Russia and Hungary do not have a common border. Nevertheless, they are facing the same problem of dealing with natural disasters. In this connection, I assume that it is necessary to unite efforts for effective and prompt reaction to major disasters. I hope that our meeting will entirely contribute to achieving this goal," Puchkov said.

Puchkov told Pinter that Russia had a single state system of prevention and liquidation of emergencies, which has proven to be an effective mechanism. "Everybody implements the decisions of the National Crisis Management Center," Puchkov said noting that Russia had also set up a governmental commission to prevent and liquidate the consequences of natural and man-made disasters.

The Russian minister of emergency situations added that such governmental commissions existed in every Russian region and that good work had been established with municipal entities in Russia.

For his part, Hungary’s interior minister expressed the hope that bilateral interaction would help elevating the opportunities of both countries in the prevention of emergencies to a new level. "I am confident that in future we will be able to offer our joint experience to the world community," Pinter stressed.

The governments of Russia and Hungary concluded an agreement on the prevention and liquidation of emergencies in 1997. According to Russia’s Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov, the Hungarian Interior Ministry and the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations had accumulated vast experience of bilateral interaction in many areas.

At the same time, Puchkov offered Pinter to step up the work of the joint commission and schedule its next session for next spring. He believes that such a format will make it possible to discuss in real time urgent problems of Russian-Hungarian interaction in dealing with various emergency situations.