The United States is pleased to have contributed nearly 90,000 dollars to a project to renovate the Ministry of Interior’s weapons and ammunition stockpile facility in Platičevo. This project was implemented by the United Nations Development Program’s Southeastern and Eastern Europe Clearinghouse for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SEESAC) and the Ministry of Interior, with support from the United States and the European Union.
The renovation and infrastructure upgrades at this facility are a great example of the practical benefits of our shared cooperation. They make the facility safer for the people who work there and the surrounding community. And they help to prevent accidents like the one that caused the explosion in Paraćin in 2006.
This is part of a larger sustained and collaborative effort we are all working on to make Serbia safer and more secure. The United States has provided nearly $20 million in assistance to Serbia since 2002 to remove the hazard posed by weapons and the remnants of war. Together, we have destroyed tons of unstable ammunition, cleared more than 13 million square meters of land in Serbia of landmines and unexploded ordnance, and put in place systems to prevent the proliferation of weapons throughout Serbia.
Looking towards the future, the United States will continue to work with the Serbian government and the international community to renovate and upgrade stockpile storage facilities like this one elsewhere in Serbia. We will continue our support for destroying unstable and unsafe ammunition at Tehnički Remontni Zavod in Kragujevac; we have set aside almost one million dollars for that purpose next year. And we will continue to partner with Serbia to ensure that all land is safe to use.