Lower chamber ratifies document specifying exemptions for NATO experts involved in landmine disposal (BELARUS)

MINSK, Belarus, 3 October 2006 -- The House of Representatives of the Belarusian National Assembly on Monday passed a ratification bill for a document that specifies the exemptions that NATO experts involved in the disposal of landmines in Belarus are entitled to.


The document is an appendix to the memorandum of understanding between Belarus and the NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency (NAMSA), whereby NAMSA pledged to provide material and technical assistance to Belarus in the disposal of its stock of landmines. Belarusian Defense Minister Leonid Maltsev told the lower chamber on Monday that Belarus is to receive some $ 200,000 for destroying its TNT-containing mines under the memorandum.

The appendix bans the prosecution of NAMSA officials involved in the project, exempts them from tax on their pay and customs duty and guarantees the free movement of their vehicles on the territory of the country.

Belarus pledged to destroy before March 1, 2008 more than four million landmines that it inherited from the Soviet Union.

With aid under NATO's Partnership for Peace program, Belarus is to destroy TNT-containing landmines at the first stage of the project and 3.3 million PFM landmines that contain toxic liquid explosive at the second stage.

Von: 03.10.06, BelaPAN

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