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NATO resumes disposal of obsolete ammunition in Ukraine

A project to dispose of old and unserviceable munitions resumed in Ukraine this week after interruption to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, NATO said on Tuesday. Photo courtesy of NATO
A project to dispose of old and unserviceable munitions resumed in Ukraine this week after interruption to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, NATO said on Tuesday. Photo courtesy of NATO

Aug. 19 (UPI) -- Ukraine's NATO-funded disposal of old and obsolete ammunition resumed this week after the project was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the alliance said.

Ukraine acquired vast amounts of weapons and ammunition after the Soviet Union withdrew from Warsaw Pact countries in the 1990s.

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NATO's Trust Fund Demilitarization Project has been working since 2005, at the request of Ukraine's government, to reduce the accumulation of unstable and potentially dangerous munitions.

A second phase of the project, which will dispose of 29,600 tons of ammunition, 2.4 million antipersonnel mines and 1,500 tons of other unserviceable ordnance by the end of the year, began in 2011 but was halted to deal with the pandemic, NATO reported on Tuesday.

The project, led by the United States, improves Ukraine's internal security and safety of its population, officials have said.

The European Union, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Japan, Italy, Ireland, Luxembourg, Norway, Switzerland, and Turkey are also sponsors of the effort, one of 10 NATO trust funds supporting Ukraine.

A 2019 NATO report said that $32.1 million has been earmarked for the project.

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